The Statewide Homelessness Assessment (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2021)
In 2021, the California Legislature passed, and Governor Newsom signed into law AB 140, tasking the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) with assessing the current landscape of programs funded, implemented, and administered by state entities across California to provide a holistic understanding of the state’s homelessness response system that can guide policy decisions as the state works to prevent and end homelessness.
“Governor Newsom and the California Legislature have provided unprecedented funding to support our cities, counties, continuums and providers in our collective effort to prevent and end homelessness in California.
“This partnership with the Terner Center builds on this investment and will enable us to gather critical information to aid the California Interagency Council on Homelessness, providers and policymakers in better understanding and addressing the issues facing people experiencing homelessness. Our goal is to build knowledge and advance solutions that more quickly get unhoused Californians into safe and supportive places that they can call home.”
- Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Secretary, California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, and Co-Chair of Cal ICH
“It is exciting to see the state invest meaningfully in programs designed to address homelessness in California. This study will make an important contribution to understanding how those resources are being spent and their impact at the local level.”
- Carolina Reid, Co-Principal Investigator, Terner Center for Housing Innovation
Summary of the Assessment
Cal ICH partnered with the Terner Center for Housing Innovation and Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative, and Abt Associates, to answer the statutory questions laid out in AB 140. The Statewide Homelessness Assessment covers the impact of 35 state programs serving people experiencing homelessness between Fiscal Year 2018-19 and 2020-21.
Cal ICH worked closely with the state departments and agencies responsible for each program to collect the most accurate information possible on program fiscal data, funding mechanisms, eligible uses, match requirements, geographical funding distributions, and intended use of funds awarded. Using data from Cal ICH’s Homeless Data Integration System (HDIS)—a data warehouse that integrates data from the CoCs’ locally implemented Homelessness Management Information Systems (HMIS)—the assessment also investigates how many people were served, the types of services they received, and their outcomes at the end of the reporting period.
The Assessment includes data on the services funded, the housing inventory created (such as permanent housing units and emergency shelter beds), as well as insights from stakeholder interviews into how local homelessness service systems leverage funding and coordinate activities to more effectively serve people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Key findings include:
- Investments: During FYs 18-19, 19-20, and 20-21, California invested $9.6 billion in programs aimed at expanding the supply of affordable housing and providing housing and services to people experiencing homelessness. Just over $5.5 billion of the total $9.6 billion of funding were targeted at expanding the supply of affordable housing. These investments are projected to produce over 60,000 new units of subsidized affordable housing serving households at or below 80% of the area median income in the coming years, including around 10,000 set aside for people with special needs, including those experiencing homelessness or those most at risk of becoming unhoused. The state also added more than 17,000 emergency shelter beds.
- Population served: During the study period, over 570,000 unique individuals across California were enrolled in homelessness services, shelter, and housing programs, as reported in HDIS. The majority of people served by programs reporting to HDIS were newly experiencing homelessness, defined as having no recorded use of homelessness services, shelter, or housing in HDIS in the previous two years, while 20 percent experienced chronic homelessness, defined as experiencing homelessness for at least one year over the course of three years while living with a serious mental illness, substance use issue, or physical disability, during the reporting period.
- Equity: Black, Indigenous and People of Color comprise a disproportionate share of the population experiencing homelessness. As a result of racial disparities in homelessness, Black people are over-represented in programs reporting to HDIS compared to their share of California’s overall population, comprising nearly 30 percent of those served.
- Outcomes: By the end of the reporting period, about 70% of individuals observed in HDIS had reported exiting their services (with the other 30% still enrolled in a service, shelter, or housing program). Of those who had exited:
- 28% remained in or moved into housing without a subsidy, including moving in with family or friends
- 17% moved into a housing unit with a temporary or permanent subsidy
- 9% were enrolled in a housing program and awaiting a unit
- 4% were enrolled in one or more non-housing programs
- 17% remained in sheltered or unsheltered homelessness
- 25% had outcomes recorded as “unknown”
Data collection from state agencies and state funding recipients began in early 2022. Cal ICH submitted an interim report to the legislature in the summer of 2022. The final report was published in February 2023.
For additional information, please contact Cal ICH using the email firstname.lastname@example.org