Governor Newsom Signs Bills to Address Homelessness and Mental Health Services

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(From left to right) Rajendra Vora, Founder & President Jain Social Group Beverly Hills, congratulating California Governor Gavin Newsom & LA Mayor Eric Garcetti after the signing of the $22-billion package

$22 billion package – the largest investment of its kind in state history – will result in 84,000 at new affordable housing units, including 44,000 homeless units in California

Our Bureau
LOS ANGELES

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a suite of bills to help address the homelessness crisis and enhance California’s response to people suffering from mental health issues on the streets, a critical part of the Governor’s $22 Billion housing affordability and package, while visiting an acute board and care home run by Los Angeles County. Altogether, the efforts highlighted today represent a comprehensive strategy to get more Californians off the streets faster than ever before and into the health services and housing they need — all at a fraction of the cost of previous efforts.

“We can’t nibble around the edges of the homelessness crisis, we need to implement bold, transformative solutions – investing more money than ever before to get folks off the street and provide the mental health and other services they need to stay off the streets,” said Governor Newsom. “Today’s legislation, along with our overall $22 billion housing affordability and homelessness package, will move the needle on creating more housing for the homeless and will allow us to tackle the homelessness crisis in ways California has never done.”

The Governor signed a package of bills to increase coordination and accountability of the state’s homelessness spending, including AB 1220 by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) which reforms the former Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, renaming it the California Interagency Council on Homelessness, and bolsters the Council’s powers through new data mandates and oversight authorities. Further linking housing with health care, the legislation names California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez as Co-Chairs of the Council. AB 977 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) implements new data mandates under the state’s Homeless Management Information System, allowing policymakers to better track and evaluate the effectiveness of homelessness funding around the state.

(From left to right): State Assembleymember, LA County supervisor Hilda Solis, Gov Newsom & LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

The California Interagency Council on Homelessness will also be the entity responsible for receiving, reviewing and ultimately approving homelessness plans submitted by cities, counties and Continuums of Care as part of the state’s $2 billion local homelessness assistance package through the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program (HHAP). Starting now, local governments must commit to quantifiable goals across six standardized metrics and make progress towards meeting or exceeding them in order to receive their full share of HHAP funding. Governor Newsom demanded this new accountability as part of his multibillion-dollar homelessness investment, and worked with the Legislature to craft these new oversight laws.

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Governor Gavin Newsom as he signed legislation that supports the State’s work to expand mental health services and behavioral health housing as part of a comprehensive approach to  tackle the homelessness crisis.

“For too long, Los Angeles was left to grapple with the humanitarian crisis of homelessness by itself. Today, I’m proud to say those days of scarce funding are behind us,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It was only three years ago that I led Mayors from California’s largest cities to demand that the State join us in confronting the crisis on our streets — and now, thanks to the support of Governor Newsom, we have a state budget that will help meet the desperate need for comprehensive solutions to homelessness and make a profound difference in the lives of unhoused Angelenos.”    

Using this year’s historic budget surplus, Governor Newsom and the State Legislature made a $12 billion commitment to homelessness. Mayor Garcetti has fiercely advocated for more State dollars to fight homelessness in Los Angeles — fighting for and winning the creation of the Homeless Emergency Aid Program and Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention programs, which will collectively deliver over half a billion dollars in direct funding to Los Angeles.  Leading Indian American Rajendra Vora Founder & President of Jain Social Group Beverly Hills congratulated Governor Newsom & Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti after the Bill signing by Governor Newsom.

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