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No Place Like Home

Creative Commons photo by anOnymOnOus via Flickr

Creative Commons photo by anOnymOnOus via Flickr

Gov. Jerry Brown on July 1, 2016 signed into law the No Place Like Home program (AB 1618, Chapter 43, Statutes of 2016).

According to the League of California Cities, “This program will distribute $2 billion dollars among counties as deferred payment loans to finance capital costs of permanent supportive housing for persons who are eligible for services under Proposition 63 (2004) and are homeless, chronically homeless, or at risk of chronic homelessness. The Legislature intends that the loans will not have to be repaid.”

The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), an initiative measure enacted by the voters as Proposition 63 at the November 2, 2004, statewide general election, imposes a 1% tax on that portion of a taxpayer’s taxable income that exceeds $1,000,000 and requires that the revenue from that tax be deposited in the Mental Health Services Fund to fund various county mental health programs.

The No Place Like Home Program, to be administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.The program cannot provide direct funding to cities with a few exceptions. However, there is already some indication that the No Place Like Home program guidelines may reward counties that have an active partnership with their cities.

Cory Golden’s article Homelessness in California, published in Western City in September 2016 highlights the success of “the “Housing First” model, which seeks to house homeless people and then provide support as they address their other challenges. It includes tactics like coordinated entry, rapid re-housing (moving a client into housing within 30 days of becoming homeless) and, in the most difficult cases, permanent supportive housing. The federal government has also emphasized the Housing First model in its funding programs.”

We are looking forward to cooperation between Shasta County and the City of Redding to address housing for our homeless population, particularly veterans and those with mental illnesses.

“The cost of inaction would be still greater. A six-year study of Santa Clara County found that the most expensive 10 percent of the homeless population costs an average of $67,000 each per year — compared to $19,000 per year when housed. Indeed, most cities already have a homelessness program, in fact if not in name.” says Cory Golden.

For those of you interested, Kristen Schreder’s Redding Area Housing Coalition Project’s Housing Work Group Meeting is meeting Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. in the Redding Library Community Room. RAHCP documents and videos of previous community events are posted online.