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     …..     …..
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    …..     …..
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     …..     …..
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…..     …..
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…..     …..     …..  
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     …..     …..
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    …..     …..

Recruiting Property Owners To Rent To Homeless Is Aim Of Third-Annual Landlord Summit

Kern County summit lauded as model for landlord outreach.

By: Steven Mayer
September 28, 2020 —

Convincing property owners and landlords to rent to homeless individuals and families may not be the sole answer to Bakersfield’s homelessness crisis.

But many believe it’s an important tool in the fight against homelessness.

The Income Property Association of Kern will host its third annual California Landlords’ Summit on Homelessness from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday — and organizers hope to build on the successes they saw last year and the year before.


California Landlords Summit on Homelessness

When:  9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 30
Where: Online, via Zoom
Cost: Free
How: Register by going to eventbrite.com and searching for the event.
Featured speaker: Charles L. Marohn, Jr., founder and president of Strong Towns and the author of “Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity.”


“At last year’s summit, landlords pledged 84 units toward housing Kern County homeless,” said Ian Sharples, executive director of the Income Property Association of Kern.

But even more rental units were offered in the days following the summit, raising the number to 94 people who received housing as a result of the summit, Sharples said. These are individuals who might otherwise be living in a car, a shelter or even on the street.

These are not short-term tenants. According to Sharples, the percentage of former homeless who were still housed one year later was in the mid- to high 90s.

Courtesy of KBAK News Bakersfield

The annual summit has been lauded as a model for landlord outreach, he said. But like so many other events held this year, the meeting of hundreds of local landlords and advocates for local homeless residents will be conducted via Zoom due to COVID-19 concerns.

“One advantage of moving online,” Sharples said, “is that it allowed us to feature a guest speaker we might not have gotten otherwise.”

That speaker is author, professional engineer and land-use planner Charles L. Marohn Jr., founder and president of Strong Towns. Marohn will discuss how cities can create more naturally affordable housing.

How does it work?

Just about anyone who works with the homeless will tell you that finding solutions is made more difficult due to public perceptions that are often driven by stereotypes and broad assumptions.


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Heather Kimmel, assistant executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Kern, said summit organizers and her staff are able to overcome these and other barriers by creating a system that protects both the tenant and the landlord, and provides incentives for both to make the relationship work.

“There’s a perceived risk,” she said. “There’s a lot of stereotypes.”

But once a property owner signals interest in housing a homeless client, a member of the housing authority staff follows up to answer questions and exchange information.

Each proposed tenant has been given a voucher, which requires the tenant to pay about 30 percent of their income toward rent. The balance is covered by a variety of funding sources through the housing authority.

“We have over a 90 percent success rate … a very low turnover, way lower than the market rate,” Kimmel said.

Lower turnover means landlords are not dealing with as many vacant units, which generate zero income and require more work to rent out.

And for landlords concerned about tenants damaging a rental unit, the authority has a claims system that addresses those concerns.

“Less than 5 percent of landlords have made these claims,” she said. “It’s really rare.”

Case workers are the secret to success

One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is that a case worker is assigned to every landlord-tenant relationship.

Rebecca Moreno worked as a case worker before she became homeless program services supervisor at the Community Action Partnership of Kern, one of several nonprofits and organizations that train case workers to work as a liaison between landlord and tenant.

“The landlord is always encouraged to call the case manager with questions or concerns,” Moreno said.

A housing inspection is scheduled monthly. Meetings are regular.

“So that they don’t feel like they’re dealing with it alone,” she said.

In this way, both tenant and property owner have someone watching out for them.

In the meantime, Sharples said, these programs save millions in the long run.

According to a report published in late 2017 by the RAND Corp., placing homeless people into housing and connecting them to a case manager for services saved $1.20 in health care and other social service costs for every $1 spent on the program.

With the advent of COVID-19, those health care costs may be even higher.

“The homeless population is at extreme risk of contracting COVID,” Moreno said.

“I feel that the California Landlords’ Summit on Homelessness has been a valuable assist to the fight against homelessness,” she said. “We were able to increase the number of units pledged in the second year and we are hoping to do the same this year — despite all the challenges we are facing as a community.”

Article courtesy of Bakersfield.com


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