Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..

California Leaders Decry Homeless Crisis, Call For ‘Right to Housing’ Bill

By: Martin Macias Jr.
November 22, 2019 —

LOS ANGELES (CN) – The mayors of Oakland, Sacramento and Los Angeles said at a housing policy summit Friday that curbing the state’s homelessness and housing affordability crises requires legislative action making housing a right for all Californians.

The Golden State’s housing crisis continues to deepen with the state coming up 3.5 million units short to meet demand and over half of renters in the state considered “cost-burdened,” meaning they spend at least 30% of their income on housing.

Many cities struggle to shelter the thousands of homeless people on their streets. In June, Los Angeles reported a 16% increase in its homeless population while also finding that a third of renters spend more than half their income on housing.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a Mayoral Housing, Transportation & Jobs Summit panel that the California Dream is moving farther out of reach for residents.

“Where we’ve failed most is in our housing, which is where the change in the California Dream has been most dramatic,” Garcetti said to a crowd at the University of California at Los Angeles’ conference center. “It is the prism through which we refract the promise and peril of the California Dream.”

Garcetti’s comments come days after a Los Angeles Business Council poll found that 95% of voters in LA County consider homelessness to be a “serious” issue.

Two-thirds of the 901 surveyed residents also said they disagree with how a pair of voter-approved tax measures – Measures HHH and H – have been used in housing projects, including 41% who say funds are being spent “very ineffectively.”

On any given day, at least 59,000 people are homeless in LA County while health officials estimate that an average of three homeless people die each day.

Garcetti acknowledged the stress that housed and unhoused residents feel and said that while city efforts to stem the crisis are working, it isn’t fast enough to capture the 150 people on average who become homeless everyday in the county.

“We are not building enough housing, and not building it in enough places or on the income spectrum either,” Garcetti said.

Co-panelists Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined Garcetti in calling for a statewide, legal mandate to provide housing for residents.

That housing may come in the form of a shelter bed, placement in transitional housing or living in an accessory dwelling unit but the legal imperative would push cities into action, the panelists said.

That framework is different from “right to shelter” policies that require local governments to construct enough shelter beds for residents, often before they can enforce anti-camping laws.

Steinberg told panel moderator Bill Witte, CEO of Related California, he supports amending the state constitution to enact the legal imperative.

“We need to drive towards the only North Star that matters and that is to drive people into housing so they can reclaim their lives,” said Steinberg, who co-chairs a statewide homeless task force with Ridley-Thomas.

Schaaf told the panel that cities need to ensure there is a supply of housing to comply with a legal imperative to provide it and that they shouldn’t lose sight of not having to rely on shelters.

“A right to shelter is about hiding the problem,” Schaaf said. “A right to housing is about solving it.”

Ridley-Thomas said shelters provide emergency housing and services that prevent homeless people from dying on the street.

“We need these shelters in order to prevent deaths,” said Ridley-Thomas. “Urgency is what we need to be governed by.”

California will have a $7 billion budget surplus next year on top of a $22 billion rainy day fund, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Panelists called on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to dip into the state’s coffers to support housing construction and services for the homeless.

“A lot of our tax dollars went into the state’s rainy day fund,” Garcetti said. “Well, it’s pouring.”

Newsom, who campaigned on a promise to bring down housing costs for residents, signed a state budget this year that includes at least $1 billion for services and housing for the growing homeless population.

When President Donald Trump criticized liberal policies for contributing to homelessness and proposed sweeping the homeless into federal facilities, Newsom said he welcomed federal investment towards the state’s housing goals.

Trump administration officials toured LA facilities in September that provide housing and services to the homeless.

California lawmakers approved a bill this year capping rent increases and providing protections to tenants but the move was criticized by state Republicans who said it will dissuade developers and drive-up housing construction costs.

Silicon Valley titans Apple, Facebook and Google have responded to the housing crunch with billion dollar investments in housing programs, such as a $2.5 billion commitment by Apple this month.

Critics of the move have said tech giants have exacerbated the housing affordability crisis by attracting high-earning employees to cities that are crunched by the housing demand.

This article courtesy of Courthouse News Service


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