Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 15, 2018

Housing for those without homes

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

And yet another bill is in the works that seeks to do the super obvious to solve what feels like an impossible problem to solve: build homes for homeless individuals and families.  From the Sacramento Bee:

[San Francisco Assemblyman David] Chiu is making a major push this year for legislation and funding to address homelessness by fast-tracking housing, measuring public dollars spent by cities and counties to combat it and collecting data on services used such as emergency room visits and shelter stays.

The details:

Chiu is expected to unveil a pair of Assembly bills Monday. One seeks to fast-track construction of supportive housing for homeless people by allowing developers to bypass the lengthy approvals process for affordable housing, which often stalls under intense neighborhood opposition.

Supportive housing, a structure that offers homeless people subsidized housing tied to social support services and often a case manager, is seen by policymakers in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles as crucial in addressing root causes of chronic homelessness. Federal housing officials say the concept is the best way to quickly address the issue.

Under Chiu’s supportive housing bill, jointly authored by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Daly of Anaheim, to qualify for speedier approvals, developers would be required to set aside 35 percent of units in new affordable housing construction for homeless people, or 15 total units – whichever is greater.

If this bill passes, this will make the approval process for the proposed supportive housing at the Medical Respite and Welcome Center go a lot smoother.  I think we all know that the public comment and reaction is not going to be pretty but a 100% supportive housing development should fall well within this bill’s parameters and allow it to bypass the approval process.

It will be interesting to see what the “speedier approvals” look like because a 35% set aside for supportive housing may be worth it for developers who anticipate huge opposition simply because of the location.  (coughalamedamarinacough).  It will be interesting to see if this bill actually passes and gets signed.

And, for the Alameda connection:

Chiu and a trio of other lawmakers from San Diego and Alameda and Los Angeles County are also asking Brown to allocate $1 billion this year for housing and homelessness programs.

The four Democrats – Chiu and Assemblymen Todd Gloria of San Diego, Rob Bonta of Alameda and Mike Gipson of Carson – are requesting $500 million from budget reserves to fund affordable housing development. The money would help offset losses in value to the low-income housing tax credit program spurred by President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

The other $500 million would fund homelessness programs such as rental assistance and supportive housing.

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