Governor Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order on January 8 to expedite the state’s response to the homelessness crisis in advance of 2020-21 budget negotiations. The order directs:
- The Department of Finance to establish the California Access to Housing and Services Fund which, according to the 2020-21 budget proposal, would receive $750 million in state funds to help housing and service providers bring more affordable housing units online, provide rent and operating subsidies, and support board and care facilities.
- The Department of General Services to identify excess state land for use as temporary housing and state facilities that can provide temporary housing as well as health and social services.
- The Department of Transportation to develop and make public a lease template allowing local jurisdictions to use Caltrans land for temporary housing.
- The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to assess availability and appropriateness of vacant and decommissioned hospitals and health care facilities for use as temporary housing.
- The Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with other departments, to identify fairground land for use as temporary housing in or near jurisdictions that have declared a shelter crisis.
- The Department of General Services to supply 100 travel trailers and the Emergency Medical Services Authority to provide modular tent structures for use as temporary housing and to provide health and social services.
- The Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to oversee a multi-departmental crisis response team to provide local jurisdictions with technical assistance and direct support for linking unsheltered individuals and families to housing and services.
The order also requires all departments named within it to develop metrics – published online and regularly updated – to track state and local progress on these efforts. It requests that other public agencies, as well as private and nonprofit organizations, inventory their resources and coordinate with local authorities to assist with these activities.