Friday, March 24, 2017

No Place Like Home Direct Allocations to Counties


Here is the list of direct allocations expected next year from the $190 million in direct county grants from the No Place Like Home Program (NPLH).  NPLH utilizes state mental health funds to construct permanent housing with supportive services for homeless chronic mentally ill persons.  Sonoma County residents should note that our high numbers place us above many other counties with larger general populations.  Let's make sure that our County and cities collaborate on an application for the additional $1.8 billion which will be available.

NPLH Allocation County Total Population
69,870,183 Los Angeles 9,951,960
13,771,432 San Diego 3,176,138
10,673,299 San Francisco 827,420
10,328,363 Santa Clara 1,836,025
7,014,447 Orange 3,085,355
6,365,524 Alameda 1,553,960
4,880,247 Sonoma 490,596
4,190,374 Sacramento 1,448,053
3,738,333 Riverside 2,264,879
3,637,529 Monterey 426,072
3,387,096 San Bernardino 2,077,453
3,201,240 Contra Costa 1,078,257
3,095,711 Santa Cruz 266,508
2,725,573 Santa Barbara 430,426
2,692,496 San Joaquin 701,151
2,388,511 San Luis Obispo 274,622
2,338,109 San Mateo 738,681
2,298,733 Fresno 947,581
2,234,156 Ventura 834,398
2,219,980 Stanislaus 521,450
2,078,225 Marin 255,841
1,860,867 Humboldt 134,584
1,706,512 Solano 420,335
1,504,905 Kern 855,498
1,493,880 Mendocino 87,373
1,416,702 Merced 261,632
1,027,664 San Benito 56,869
1,004,038 Tulare 451,043
901,659 Butte 221,016
874,883 Imperial 176,768
816,606 Placer 361,420
791,720 Yuba 72,969
786,681 Yolo 203,838
684,322 Shasta 178,368
500,000 El Dorado 180,616
500,000 Madera 152,235
500,000 Kings 151,382
500,000 Napa 138,916
500,000 Nevada 98,267
500,000 Sutter 94,659
500,000 Lake 63,965
500,000 Tehama 63,264
500,000 Tuolumne 54,050
500,000 Calaveras 44,731
500,000 Siskiyou 44,223
500,000 Amador 37,003
500,000 Lassen 33,657
500,000 Del Norte 28,248
500,000 Glenn 27,957
500,000 Colusa 21,355
500,000 Plumas 19,338
500,000 Inyo 18,441
500,000 Mariposa 17,888
500,000 Mono 14,349
500,000 Trinity 13,506
500,000 Modoc 9,346
500,000 Sierra 3,075
500,000 Alpine 1,138
190,000,000 38,000,148

Thursday, March 23, 2017

First Meeting of No Place Like Home Advisory Committee Held


This morning, I listened to the audio broadcast of the initial meeting of California's "No Place Like Home" Advisory Committee.  This is the committee charged with overseeing the implementation of $2 Billion in Prop 63 funds to produce permanent housing throughout the state for chronic mentally ill homeless.

Nine of the 15 members attended the Sacramento meeting, and all began the meeting with powerful personal stories demonstrating the sources of their passion and experience.  Led by the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, I came away believing these were the best state and local bureaucrats one could assemble to try to make sense of a complex new program. Their lives were all deeply impacted by the issue, and they were now in a position to shape a significant step toward some relief.

After a staff-delivered slide presentation outlining the program design, timeline, and stakeholder concerns, members of the audience and those on the phone were asked to comment.  Topics included: rural county perceptions that they would have difficulty submitting competitive applications; tribal calls to ensure broad collaboration; inquiries on guideline language which seems to exclude at-risk youth; clarification on stakeholder topics raised involving integration requirements, outcome measures, and the definition of At-Risk Chronic Homeless; and a plea to fill the one seat reserved for a user of supportive housing before the next meeting.

On the upside, funds to support county development of improved capability to compete for the funds will be distributed soon.  Less upside, there are still plenty of questions to be raised and answered before the Department can move forward with the issuance of applications for funding.

Here is the link to the Department No Place Like Home webpage, which contains (near the bottom) the materials from the meeting.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Santa Rosa City Council Asks for a Presentation on Housing First on April 4th


Near the beginning of the Santa Rosa City Council meeting last week, they took up a request from Jack Tibbetts to vote to direct the City Manager to  arrange a presentation on Housing First at an upcoming meeting.  Te discussion which followed seemed to make the case that much work needs to be done to build a consensus on both what the City means when it says we're a Housing First City, and what it is we will do.

I have excerpted the discussion, and placed it on YouTube (S.R. Housing First, March 14th), and I invite you to pass on this post and ink to all of those who you believe are interested in what our City is doing to provide housing.

Gregory Fearon

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Housing Fast

The Housing First conversations circulating around town usually begin with one statement.  It’s simple, but not easy.  The simple part is:  If we provide vulnerable, and difficult-to-care homeless with permanent housing and support services until they can afford to pay rent and need reduced services, we will improve our clients’ lives, and save enough money in emergency room, jail, and case management salaries to cover our increased housing and service costs.  Further, we can shift our energies toward early interventions with newly-homeless to prevent their spiraling into vulnerability.
I believe that. 
But I think we under-sell how “not easy” it is.  I have a hard time believing is that we can find the housing stock necessary to place our most vulnerable homeless into permanent supported housing. 
In the past fifty years, Santa Rosa affordable housing developers have produced 5,358 congregate and individual housing units.  They were shelters, transitional housing, permanently-supported, and unsupported housing.  They were designed for, and occupied by residents with extremely low (no more than $16,150/yr), very low ($26,950), low ($43,050), and moderate ($64,680) incomes. They were designed to meet the needs we saw for our low-income residents.  
Ninety-four percent of the permanent housing was aimed at incomes far above those of our homeless population.  If we look at the rental units produced at the income level of extremely low income, there were two built for seniors (with 35 units), and eleven built for families (267 units). These are units which, when vacant, might be available to place Housing First residents.  Additionally, the City is expecting some of these landlords to partner with these efforts, and make more units available.  Many of these same landlords are very concerned about the upcoming rent stabilization and just cause eviction control  election.

If we have any hope of finding apartment owners who can partner with us, we should be looking for those with units having a history of low rents and on the margins of habitability.   The City’s housing, planning, zoning, and several divisions of other departments should work together to identify and approach these landlords.  We have given them housing subsidies in the past, and we have worked with them to upgrade illegal housing conditions.  With rehabilitation loans, and targeted rental subsidies, we can improve our housing and residents at the same time.

Gregory Fearon