Newsom Issues Executive Order to Address Homelessness

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a press release announcing his Executive Order N-23-20 to reduce street homelessness, reduce barriers for homeless individuals to access health care and other services, and increase housing options for those experiencing homelessness. The executive order, effective immediately, requires:

  • All state agencies named in the Executive Order to develop metrics for state agencies and local partners by February 28, 2020 to assess the use of state resources below and the impact.
  • The Department of Finance to establish a new fund, the California Access to Housing and Services Fund, within the Department of Social Services (DSS) to receive future state appropriations, as well as donations from philanthropy and the private sector, for affordable housing, rental and operating subsidies and stabilizing board and care homes.
  • State agencies to conduct the following actions by January 31, 2020, for the purpose of identifying property that can be used by local partners for providing shelter for homeless individuals on a short-term basis:
    • The Department of General Services (DGS) to identify properties from the inventory of excess state land and state facilities;
    • The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to develop and share a model lease template to allow counties and cities to use Caltrans property adjacent to highways or state roads;
    • The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to work with local jurisdictions, tribal communities and private entities to assess vacant and decommissioned hospitals and health care facilities; and
    • The Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the DGS, the Department of Housing and Community Development, DSS, and the Office of Emergency Services, to conduct an initial assessment of fairgrounds in or near jurisdictions where a shelter crisis is in effect.
  • DGS to supply 100 travel trailers from state fleet and the Emergency Medical Services Authority to supply complementary modular tent structures to provide temporary emergency housing and health and social services across the state immediately through September 30, 2020.
  • A multi-agency strike team with the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, Government Operations Agency, Health and Human Services Agency, Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and the Transportation Agency, to provide technical assistance and targeted direct support to counties, cities and public transit agencies looking to get homeless individuals indoors and connect them to health and social services.

In addition to the Executive Order, Governor Newsom previewed elements of his 2020-21 budget proposal, including providing seed funding for the California Access to Housing and Services fund created by the Executive Order and funding for the Administration’s Medi-Cal transformation proposals, now called Medi-Cal Healthier California for all (formerly known as CalAIM). Additional budget details can be found in the CHEAC Budget Memo.

The press release can be viewed here.