Chiu Bill to Reduce Homelessness Passes Assembly

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Legislation will centralize state data on homelessness to determine the most effective programs and solutions

SACRAMENTO--A bill authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to address California’s homelessness crisis passed the Assembly today. Assembly Bill 2161 will centralize data related to homelessness across state agencies to ensure resources are being used effectively.

“No one should have to sleep on the streets of the Golden State,” said Assemblymember Chiu, chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee. “But every night, 134,000 Californians have no place to call home, and that number is only increasing. We must take bold steps to increase services for homeless individuals and make sure those resources are used efficiently.”

Assembly Bill 2161 will establish a centralized database and compile agency data related to homelessness through the Homeless Financing and Coordinating Council to better understand homelessness in California, determine the most effective programs, and fully realize the costs of homelessness to the State.

Individuals experiencing homelessness often are unable to get the services they need because they must navigate complex public programs across multiple state and local agencies. Understanding how they navigate these programs and where gaps in services exist is crucial to California's success in tackling homelessness. The bill will also require the Department of Housing and Community Development to produce a number of studies to understand the nexus of homelessness and other social programs.  

Assemblymembers Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), and Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) are co-authors of AB 2161. The Corporation for Supportive Housing and Housing California are co-sponsoring the bill.

“As the State recognizes, supportive housing ends homelessness among some of our most vulnerable Californians while reducing blight and decreasing costs in services like healthcare,” said Sharon Rapport, Associate Director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing. “Streamlining the development of supportive housing would further these goals, and expedite efforts to house the homeless by ensuring projects can be sited and that the cost to develop them are lower than we face today.”

“Tracking the unmet needs of people experiencing homelessness will lead to more data-driven solutions,” said Lisa Hershey, Executive Director of Housing California.

AB 2161 now moves on to the Senate.