Counties Make Final Plea for Ongoing Homeless Funding Ahead of Budget Deadline

The California State Association of Counties made another last-ditch plea to the governor and lawmakers Monday for more resources to fight homelessness. 

With a budget deal coming by the end of the week, CSAC is hoping to have its proposed trailer bill language included in the final document. CSAC is requesting ongoing streams of funding plus adoption of an “AT HOME Accountability Plan” to ensure goals are met.

The accountability plan “invites cities and counties, along with other key stakeholders, to create all-encompassing Local Homeless Accountability Plans, either by region or by county,” according to a news release. “The Plans would lay out exactly who is supposed to do what, outline goals and, importantly, indicate who is accountable if those goals are not met.”

Cities and counties that collaborate on local plans would receive funding through the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) Grant Program. But that funding would be ongoing, which is the crux of CSAC’s request. Right now, the HHAP program is temporary.

“Success on homelessness is not rocket science — it’s limited to our willingness to define responsibilities for each level of government, make investments to fund them, and hold each level of government accountable. Without those ingredients, we will fail,” said Graham Knaus, CSAC CEO. “The AT HOME Coalition for Accountability’s language establishes a comprehensive homelessness response system – in statute – with clear lines of responsibility and accountability for all levels of government. Communities and those struggling with homelessness cannot wait yet another year — we must act now.  The Governor and Legislature should adopt this language in the state budget this year.” 

“Our AT HOME Accountability language is a common-sense approach to tackling the biggest crisis in California today,” said John Gioia, CSAC Executive Committee Member and Chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. “The current approach to homelessness fails to define the roles of the State, counties and cities in dealing with this vital issue. We can’t address this serious crisis without accountability at every level of government. Our proposed language holds all levels of government accountable for results and requires local governments and stakeholders to design Local Homeless Accountability Plans that are unique to that county or region. I urge our language to be adopted in the state budget.”