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Assemblywoman Luz Rivas Introduces the California Coordinated Homelessness Response Act to Break the Cycle of Homelessness

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 2325, the California Coordinated Homelessness Response Act, which builds upon the Assemblywoman’s previous legislation, AB 1845. While state funding plays a critical role in reducing homelessness, funding alone will not solve systemic issues. The California Coordinated Homelessness Response Act proposes several decisive actions at the state level to combat some of the root causes compounding homelessness. AB 2325 would implement a universal application for service and housing providers, local governments, and other entities to streamline service delivery to the unhoused community and identify other opportunities for consolidation of state programs. Additionally, the legislation would also provide housing opportunities to individuals released from prisons, hospitals, or mental health facilities so that they do not end up living on the streets, as well as propose various other policies targeted at stemming the flow of homelessness.

“California’s gargantuan homelessness crisis is the worst in the nation, as we lead in both the number of unhoused residents and the highest proportion of persons living on the streets,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “Our residents have told us time and time again that homelessness is one of the top issues our state must address swiftly, but we cannot just buy our way out of homelessness. I am introducing the California Coordinated Homelessness Response Act so that the state can advance programs specifically designed to break the cycle of homelessness that has trapped too many Californians. With this legislation, I am confident we can begin to take significant coordinated steps to remedy homelessness in California.”

In 2020, the California State Auditor reported that California leads the nation with both the highest number of homeless persons and the highest proportion of unsheltered homeless persons of any state. That same year, the Public Policy Institute of California published polling data showing that Californians identified homelessness as “the most important issue for state leaders to address.” While the Legislature and this Governor have made significant strides in addressing homelessness through Project Homekey investments, which provide essential housing, the state has failed to enact legislation that significantly overhauls the state’s approach to combatting homelessness, and that is exactly what AB 2325 proposes to do.

“CSH is thrilled to be working with Assemblywoman Luz Rivas and her staff on this critical bill,” said Sharon Rapport, Director of California State Policy for the Corporation for Supportive Housing. “The legislation will give the California Interagency Council on Homelessness members the tools they need to coordinate and streamline homeless programs. Assemblywoman Rivas has been a robust and consistent champion of maximizing the effective use of our State resources for solutions to homelessness and coordinating our state’s response to homelessness. Together, we are working on building equitable communities where all people can thrive.”

While California currently manages a number of service programs addressing homelessness through over a dozen state departments and agencies, the state’s service delivery model remains highly fragmented. This disorganized approach creates problems in tracking homelessness services programs’ effectiveness and efficiency. AB 2325’s creation of a universal application for local entities to use to provide services to the unhoused community simplifies and organizes the application process across all levels of service delivery. In turn, more individuals can get the assistance they need to break the cycle of homelessness and find permanent housing. Lastly, the legislation also coordinates hospital and nursing home discharge protocols for individuals at risk of homelessness to assist them in obtaining housing.

“Creating a California where everyone has a stable place to call home requires long-term coordination and commitment,” said Chris Martin, Policy Director of Housing California. “It’s time to bring together the disjointed and independently operating state homelessness agencies and departments to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of state resources. The California Coordinated Homelessness Response Act is a common-sense approach to helping those who are experiencing homelessness or on the brink of homelessness. The urgency has never been greater. The Legislature should seize this opportunity to make the structural reforms necessary to achieve real results in ending the cycle of homelessness in our state.”

AB 2325, the California Homelessness Response Act, is co-sponsored by the Corporation for Supportive Housing and Housing California.

Assemblywoman Luz Rivas proudly represents the 39th Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Granada Hills, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, and the City of San Fernando.