Press Release

Legislation to Facilitate Financing of Housing for Homeless Approved by Assembly Committee

SB 482 would make it easier for special needs developments to be financed and built

SACRAMENTO – Legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, to encourage the development of special needs housing units that serve unhoused individuals with little or no income and the greatest needs was approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on Wednesday.

SB 482 requires the state Department of Housing and Community Development to offer capitalized operating subsidy reserves (COSRs) to special needs units funded through the Multifamily Housing Program. COSRs are important because if granted, they set aside upfront money to cover 15-20 years’ worth of deficits in annual operating revenues for housing developments, making it easier for the developments to get financed and built.

Already passed by the Senate, the legislation goes next to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration. 

“We know that many people who are unsheltered need more than just housing, they need mental health care or substance abuse treatment or other support,” Blakespear said. “SB 482 ensures that housing that provides needed services to the homeless can be more easily financed.”

Special needs units are crucial in helping people who are homeless address personal health or substance abuse problems or get other help they need. These units often offer case management, medical and mental health care, substance abuse treatment and employment services, among other resources. This is an essential element in helping the most vulnerable Californians transition out of homelessness.

A study conducted by UC San Francisco of California’s homeless and released last week said that two-thirds of those they surveyed suffered mental health symptoms and one-third had substance abuse problems.

Blakespear has also authored SB 7, which would mandate that cities and counties provide housing for people who are homeless. Despite all the programs and assistance provided to the unhoused, there is currently no requirement for cities and counties to house them. A two-year bill, SB 7 aims to change that.

Elected in November, Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern coastal San Diego County and part of inland Orange County. To learn more about the district and Blakespear, visit her Senate website.