“Beyond Housing” Legislation Introduced in California

Two assemblymen in California announced Assembly Bill 2417 “to expand and improve California’s response to our state’s homelessness crisis.” Their legislation would increase funding flexibility by revoking the state’s existing Housing First approach and replacing it with treatment and service-oriented programs. This legislation tagged “Beyond Housing,” would eliminate California’s “one-size-fits-all approach to homelessness by allowing treatment as a potential option rather than the strict Housing First policy.”

State entities could distribute funds to establishments that have mental health and drug treatment requirements for homeless individuals to remain in their programs. The proposed bill would repeal the Housing First requirements so that state programs funded, implemented, or administered by a California state agency or department could incorporate “Treatment First” policies and have more flexibility in funding options that reduce homelessness and crime.

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