Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority July 2020 Legislative Affairs Updates


Legislative Affairs Updates




Equal Access Rule


·         LAHSA is expecting a proposed rule from HUD in the coming days to weaken enforcement of the federal Equal Access Rule, which currently prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identification in HUD-funded programs, including shelters. The proposal would give operators of federally-funded shelters the discretion to base access on a person’s biological sex at birth rather than in accordance with their gender identity. 


·         In 2017, the LAHSA Commission approved the Equal Access Policy that requires programs, regardless of funding source, to serve individuals in accordance with their gender identity. As a result, any federal rule change would not have direct impacts on LAHSA-funded shelter.


·         Nevertheless, LAHSA is extremely concerned about the impact this would have for the LGBTQ community in other jurisdictions. Data shows that transgender individuals are more likely to be victims of violence and have high rates of homelessness, particularly among youth.


·         What remains unclear is how the Administration will respond to last month's ruling from the Supreme Court on Title VII employment discrimination against LGBTQ people, including transgender individuals, which ruled that this discrimination was unlawful and was consistent with discrimination on the basis of sex under the Civil Rights Act. While this decision applied to employment rights, it could undermine the Administration's basis for their HUD rule.


Update on the 2020 Census


·         The Census Bureau’s operation for enumerating people experiencing homelessness at shelters, meal sites, and encampments has been rescheduled to September 22-24, 2020.


·         In addition, the Census Bureau has extended their self-reporting period to October 31, 2020.


·         LAHSA continues to work with regional Census office and LA County to help ensure that PEH have opportunities to participate and be counted by the October deadline.


Federal Stimulus


·         The federal government has not yet determined when it will move forward with another round of stimulus that could include support for local governments, homelessness funding, rental assistance, and additional stimulus payments. All signs point to the Senate beginning the conversation in earnest in late July.






·         The Legislature was initially expected to return from Summer Recess on Monday, July 13th to meet an August 31 deadline for bills to be approved by the full Assembly and Senate. However, due to increasing cases of COVID in Sacramento, that return is being delayed.


·         LAHSA is sponsoring two bills that have continued to move forward:


o   AB 3277, which requires greater flexibility in parking ticket repayment plans for low-income people; this bill passed the Assembly on June 8th and will head to the Senate Transportation Committee where it will be heard in mid-July.


o   AB 2275, which streamlines security requirements for state-owned armories being used as shelters, passed the Assembly on May 26th--it will next be heard in Senate Governance and Finance in mid-July. 


·         LAHSA has also taken support positions on the following bills:


o   AB 1436, which would prevent landlords from being able to evict tenants due to unpaid rent during the COVID emergency.


o   AB 1845, which would create an Office to End Homelessness at the State.


o   AB 2271, which would increase availability of eviction data.


o   AB 2960, which would allow for flexibility in permitting shelter in existing structures.


o   AB 3300, which would provide $2 billion in annual funding for homelessness.


o   SB 1065, which would increase flexibility of CalWORKs Homeless Assistance for families. 


o   SB 1333, which would create state tax credits for employers who hire people experiencing homelessness


State Budget


·         The Legislature and the Governor's Office reached a deal in late June on homelessness funding for FY 20-21. The budget includes $300 million in General Fund money to flow through the existing HHAP program, which would translate to about $33 million for the LA CoC, $58 million for the City of LA, and $31 million for Los Angeles County. 


·         In addition, there will be $550 million of Coronavirus Relief Fund moneys for acquisition of Project Roomkey sites, among other uses. In addition, the State is setting aside $50 million in General Fund to be used for operations for these sites, which was a concern that local jurisdictions had been raising to the state. 




Recovery Plan


·         In late June, LAHSA submitted a plan to the Board of Supervisors outlining a COVID 19 recovery plan, which aims to rapidly house 15,000 people beyond what the homeless system would normally expect to house under current funding. New housing placements aim to concentrate on those people that are most at risk if they were to contract COVID 19, while still ensuring robust funding for the existing system to keep housing families and youth that are less likely to be at risk if they contract COVID, but still in need of housing resources.


·         A parallel motion was introduced by the Los Angeles City Council asking for a similar report back and was approved. LAHSA's plan calls for $600 million in new investment over the next three years to accomplish the goals in this plan.


Alternatives to Police Response


·         Council President Martinez and Councilmember Wesson introduced a motion in June instructing the CLA and the CAO to work with LAHSA, the LAPD, and the County's Department of Mental Health to think about what it might look like to develop a system for non-violent crisis response calls to go to agencies other than the police. The motion mentions a model out of Eugene, OR, referred to as CAHOOTS, that diverts about 20% of 9-1-1 calls to mental health and other crisis response teams rather than police. LAHSA is looking forward to exploring other models around the nation and the world as part of this report back to reimagine crisis response.