Assembly Holds Joint Informational Hearing on Homelessness in California

On Wednesday, the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and the Human Services Committee held a joint informational hearing on homelessness in California and federal, state, and local responses to the issue.

The hearing featured panelists from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (CDHCD), and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to discuss federal and state efforts to address homelessness. Local responses were discussed by representatives from the Kings-Tulare and Alameda County Continuum of Care entities and the City of Los Angeles. A panel was also convened on current gaps and challenges in responding to the ongoing homelessness crisis throughout the state.

Members of the two committees had an opportunity to make comments and ask questions of the panelists, which largely focused on current safety net programs, affordable housing efforts, innovative opportunities in addressing homelessness, and the budgeting and financing of such initiatives.

Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula in his comments underscored the chronic disease conditions and acute illnesses that are disproportionately experienced by individuals experiencing homelessness. Arambula discussed the role of the CDSS and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) in meeting current service demands of homeless individuals throughout the state, as well as challenges experienced by rural California jurisdictions in addressing homelessness and housing issues.

Toward the conclusion of the hearing, Housing and Community Development Committee Chair David Chiu and Human Services Committee Chair Eloise Gómez Reyes indicated the topics discussed during the informational hearing will continue to be prioritized during legislative and budget committee hearings throughout the coming months. The hearing agenda is available here, panelist biographies are available here, background paper is available hereand current program funding chart is available here.