Press Release

Legislation to Provide More Housing for Homeless Clears 2nd Senate Committee

SB 7 would require cities and counties to provide homeless-serving housing as part of their regional housing plans      

SACRAMENTO – Legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, to require cities and counties to include homeless-serving housing in their housing plans was passed by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Tuesday.

SB 7 would mandate that cities and counties plan to provide housing for their homeless populations, as part of their zoning plans to meet projected housing needs for their jurisdictions. The bill would also provide funding to local governments to provide housing for the homeless.

Despite all the programs and assistance provided to the homeless, there is currently no requirement for cities and counties to house them. SB 7 aims to change that.

“The goal of this bill is to eliminate encampments in public spaces and provide shelter for people to live inside,” Blakespear said. “Homelessness is a statewide problem, and every community must do its fair share to address it.”

The Department of Housing and Community Development, in consultation with regional Council of Governments and the Department of Finance, periodically determines each region’s housing needs based on its current and projected residents’ household incomes. The Council of Governments then divides housing needs estimates among their local governments, which then must adopt housing elements to meet those need estimates.

Presently, however, those Regional Housing Needs Allocation plans are not specific in how they address homeless needs. SB 7 adds providing housing for the homeless as a new required category of the plan.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee passed SB 7 on a 6-2 vote, and it goes next to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate Housing Committee approved the bill last week.

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