Last November, the League board of directors, following a policy setting retreat with other League leadership, identified addressing housing affordability and securing more resources to assist the chronically homeless as one its top three policy priorities
Improve Housing Affordability. Increase state and federal financial support, reduce regulatory barriers, and provide additional incentives and local financial tools to address chronic homelessness and improve housing affordability and availability in cities throughout the state.
The rationale for this priority is obvious -- cities are on the front lines of this issue but there is little to work with. The causes include growing income disparity, uneven recovery from the recession, fewer jobs paying a living wage, flawed and disorganized systems of social services and decades of federal divestment in affordable housing production, coupled with the recent elimination of California’s redevelopment agencies and the exhaustion of state housing bonds. The League advocates for constructive proposals that bring resources and flexibility to assist local agencies.
California has an estimated affordable housing shortage of more than one million homes. Funding for development and preservation of affordable homes dropped by a whopping 79 percent, from approximately $1.7 billion annually to nearly nothing. Collectively, it’s not a pretty picture.
The League convened an informal homelessness working group in late 2015 comprised of city staff and elected officials from 19 diverse cities to help the organization craft positions on how state policies can best serve local communities in addressing this crisis. Principles developed by this group have been adopted by League policy committees and will be posted once they are reviewed by the full board of directors.
In March 2016, the League hosted a webinar, “Opening Doors to End Homelessness,” featuring representatives of federal, state and city government. More than 115 cities took part. The webinar is available to stream
. (Please note: Due to technical difficulties, no audio was recorded during the first 10 minutes of the 90-minute presentation). The PowerPoint slides
are also available without the audio.
The League is assembling resources and best practices on homelessness.
CSAC-League Homelessness Task Force Materials
On March 1, 2018, the League of California Cities® and the California State Association of Counties® released its Homelessness Task Force Report detailing tools and resources that cities and counties are using to address the needs of homeless residents in their communities.
The report is the culmination of more than a year of work by a joint task force formed in the fall of 2016 to examine a wide range of local programs and initiatives that are effectively connecting homeless Californians to services and resources to help them find and remain in permanent housing.
The report, prepared by the Institute for Local Government, offers information and research, case studies of innovative city and county programs addressing homelessness, funding resources and a template that local governments can use to create a homelessness plan.
In April, 2016, the League's Board of Directors voted to establish a joint city-county task force on homelessness issues to discuss what local governments need to prevent, assist, and reduce the number of homeless individuals and families in our communities. Materials and resources developed for and by that task force will be shared on this website.
September 23, 2016 Meeting Materials
November 28, 2016 Meeting Materials
May 11, 2017 Meeting Materials