Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County) and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) reintroduced a measure on Feb. 17 that continues last year’s effort to establish accountability measures to dramatically reduce homelessness in California.
Specifically, Assembly Bill 816 would create a process for holding state and local governments accountable for housing the unsheltered based on measurable goals while using existing resources.
“Reducing homelessness requires a shared responsibility and should be on top of everyone’s agenda,” Santiago said. “There’s no reason why local municipalities shouldn’t be legally required to quickly house as many people as possible, especially as we battle a ravaging pandemic. By establishing an accountability and enforcement mandate, we will be that much closer to eliminating homelessness in California.”
California has the highest rate of unsheltered homeless individuals in the nation. On any given night, over 150,000 Californians are homeless, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated this humanitarian crisis. By proactively establishing plans, metrics, accountability and enforcement mechanisms, AB 816 will move California towards finally addressing the moral crisis of our time, the Assembly members said.
This bill will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development in April.