No Place Like Home Act
This initiative seeks approval to shift $2 billion from the Mental Health Services Act towards homeless housing and services for the mentally-ill population.
No Place Like Home Funding
Provides $2 billion in bonds for the construction and rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with mental illness, which will be repaid from the state’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Passed in 2004 (Prop 63), this Act levies a 1 percent tax on personal incomes of $1 million or more.
A No Place Like Home Advisory Committee will advise the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on implementation. $1.8 billion of the funds will be a competitive grant program, with counties organized into groupings based on population- (a) The County of Los Angeles. (b) Large counties with a population greater than 750,000. (c) Medium counties with a population between 200,000 to 750,000. (d) Small counties with a population less than 200,000.
In addition to the competitive grant program, $200 million would be distributed by HCD from the fund on an over-the-counter basis to finance the construction, rehabilitation, or preservation, and to capitalize operating reserves, of permanent and supportive housing for individuals in the target population with a priority for those with mental health supportive needs who are homeless or at risk of chronic homelessness. Funds to be awarded shall be available to all counties within the state proportionate to the number of homeless persons within each county or in the amount of $500,000 whichever is greater.
This initiative seeks to remedy a legal issue that has held up the original No Place Like Home Act, passed in 2016, by putting approval before the voters on the November ballot. The No Place Like Home initiative (AB 1618) was originally passed as one component of a multi-pronged housing package, however mental health advocates sued, arguing that redirection of funds from a prior ballot measure should have gone to a public vote. In order to release the funds without waiting for a court decision, Senator Kevin de Leon authored SB 1206 this year to put it on the November 2018 ballot for voter approval.
The original 2016 legislation passed with bi-partisan support, with 70 votes in the Assembly and 36 votes in the Senate. The 2018 legislation to put this measure on the ballot was similarly bi-partisan, with 72 votes in the Assembly and 35 in the Senate.
Arguments in favor:
- Helps address the housing crisis by taking a housing first approach to house mentally ill homeless individuals with permanent supportive housing and services
- Need to build housing is immediate, as we are in a housing and homelessness crisis
Supporters of Prop 2: California Hospital Association, California State Association of Counties, California Alternative Payment Program Association, Steinberg Institute
Supporters of 2016 legislation: Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, CalNonprofits, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. then-SF Mayor Ed Lee, Shelter Partnership, Corporation for Supportive Housing, then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, League of California Cities-Los Angeles Division
Arguments in opposition:
- There should be a treatment first approach, not housing first approach
- Taking funds away from the Mental Health Services Act directly impacts the severely mentally ill individuals that need it the most
Opposition: Mary Ann Bernard (attorney that sued the legislation) and mental health advocates
The Chamber support the No Place Like Home legislation in 2016.