- Annel Lopez
- (916) 319-2043
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D – San Fernando Valley) unveiled AB 799, also known as the Homelessness Accountability and Results Act, to strengthen California’s homelessness response by establishing strict accountability and evidence-based improvements to the Homelessness Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) program. This is in response to Governor Newsom’s extraordinary step to withhold HHAP funds from local governments due to concerns that local government plans will only reduce homelessness by “two percent statewide by 2024”.
“State funding plays a critical role in the fight against homelessness, however, funding alone will not solve systemic issues. The lack of accountability and inconsistent funding has caused a public policy feedback loop resulting in homelessness response systems to be unable to meet the challenges of rising housing costs and insufficient affordable housing availability,” stated Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “In response to the growing concerns on how our HHAP dollars are allocated and spent, I have introduced AB 799 to reform our current approach to issuing funds, to ensure money is tied to successful programs that have tangible results.”
“I am proud to be joining in this effort with Asm. Luz Rivas, a proven champion on this issue. Homelessness is one of, if not the most important issue amongst Californians. We have invested historic amounts of funding into this issue, but it is also unclear how cities and counties are spending this funding and how they are collaborating in order to tackle this crisis. This is one of my top priorities this year, and I look forward to working with Asm. Luz Rivas in order to ensure our state funds are being used efficiently and effectively,” stated Assemblymember Lori Wilson (D – Suisun City).
“Over the past several years, we’ve allocated billions in state dollars to address our homelessness crisis with the expectation that communities would work quickly to expand access to shelters, temporary and permanent housing, and services,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D – Burbank). “You don’t have to look too far to see that progress has been slow. This bill will reduce the bureaucratic barriers that have held local governments back, and set clear goals and real consequences for communities so that we can get our vulnerable neighbors housed.”
“Strengthening the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) Program is a crucial step to resolving the scope of homelessness around us,” said Assemblymember Chris Ward (D – San Diego). “Data-driven funding with a clear set of goals attached will help ensure we are being more effective in resolving homelessness, meeting constituent expectations, and addressing this issue with the urgency that it needs.”
“As San Diego's Continuum of Care, we know homeless services providers on the front lines are doing all they can to rehouse our most vulnerable neighbors, but they can't keep pace with the numbers of people falling into homelessness for the first time. Assemblywoman Rivas' legislation will help ensure service providers can get to the scale they need by focusing local jurisdictions on the smart, targeted interventions that we know work and provide sustained investment,” stated Tamera Kohler (Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness).
“People with lived experience of homelessness know what works to end homelessness and when we aren't at the table, we see ineffective responses and racial inequities deepen. I applaud Assemblywoman Rivas for putting forward a piece of legislation that was developed with input and leadership from people with lived experience of homelessness and look forward to working hand in hand with her,” said Reba Stevens (Advocate with Lived Experience of Homelessness & Member of California Interagency Council on Homelessness Advisory Committee).
"Making progress on homelessness requires accountability to deliver results through the alignment of policies, practices, and partnerships. It also requires scaled, dedicated, and ongoing investments to get and keep Californians housed," said Chione Flegal (Executive Director, Housing California). "Housing California is proud to co-sponsor AB 799, an important step toward sufficiently resourcing our state's rehousing systems. And we applaud Assemblywoman Rivas for her unwavering commitment to addressing homelessness at the scale of need," she added.
“Once again, Assemblywoman Rivas is proving her commitment to solving homelessness in California through the introduction of AB 799. This bill will help ensure state investments are funding what works, will promote transparency in how local governments are spending state money, and will enact a process of ensuring results. CSH looks forward to working with Asm. Rivas and her staff to ensure all levels of government in California are doing all they can to stem homelessness,” stated Sharon Rapport (Director, California State Policy, Corporation for Supportive Housing).
“Looking at homeless systems nationwide, we've seen what effective, comprehensive responses look like,” said Alex Visotzky (Senior California Policy Fellow, National Alliance to End Homelessness). “State and local governments must work together on thoughtful planning, goal setting, strong regional collaboration, and dedicated investment in the evidenced-based approaches that end people's homelessness. Assemblywoman Rivas' bill represents a major step to build on California's recent investments in that direction, and we thank her for her steadfast leadership.”
“Youth homelessness has decreased 21% in California since 2020, a direct result of the state’s HHAP investment in youth. With increased transparency, our state can continue to move the needle on preventing young people from becoming chronically homeless adults,” said Simone Tureck Lee (Director of Housing and Health, John Burton Advocates for Youth).
AB 799 will increase accountability for HHAP in several ways by:
- Requiring the state to take the lead by setting goals around the reduction of homelessness in a collaborative manner with local jurisdictions;
- Creating consequences for failure to meet goals, including the potential of HHAP funding reallocation to successful actors in the region;
- Streamlining administrative burdens on local systems, while ensuring that more detailed information is made publicly to improve transparency and oversight of the program;
- Promoting investments in balanced homeless response systems that increase equitable housing outcomes for participants, while maintaining flexible eligible uses.
Assemblywoman Luz Rivas proudly represents the 43rd Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sun Valley, Sylmar, North Hollywood, Valley Glen and the City of San Fernando.