LABC Supports Groundbreaking Statewide Homeless Housing Measure

The Los Angeles Business Council is a proud co-sponsor of AB 1907—a new bill aimed at accelerating construction of necessary housing to combat the growing homelessness crisis in California. The LABC commends the bills authors in the Assembly for their leadership on this critical issue and pledges to continue actively supporting AB 1907 as it works its way through the legislature.

A press release from the office of Assemblymember Miguel Santiago containing additional information about the bill is below:

Santiago Introduces Groundbreaking Statewide

 Homeless Housing Measure

Sacramento, CA – On the heels of the Governor’s more than $1 billion dollar budget announcement on homelessness, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and joint authors Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), introduced a groundbreaking bill, AB 1907, that would remove barriers and help accelerate the construction of desperately needed housing for families and individuals experiencing homelessness throughout California.

“Despite California being the 5th largest economy in the world, many people are living in tents and dying on the streets as if we were living in the second Great Depression,” said Assemblymember Santiago. “We must focus on policies that keep people off of the streets and build homeless housing faster by doing everything humanly possible to remove existing barriers.”

“Unfeasible housing costs coupled with an outright lack of affordable housing leaves a great deal of Californians without options for shelter,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson. “As our state remains a frontrunner among economic superpowers, it is nonsensible that we have the largest homeless population in the nation. This bill removes a critical barrier in providing supportive resources specifically regarding emergency shelters and sustained housing. Not only is this a step in the right direction, it’s a step that could provide more expedited relief for an issue that only worsens day by day.”

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva added, “We must do everything possible to keep people in their homes, off the streets, and from dying on the streets of California. This is a crisis and we must respond accordingly, which means streamlining housing projects.”

“There are no boundaries to the moral crisis of homelessness,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “An expanded AB 1197 will streamline essential shelter, affordable and supportive housing projects across Los Angeles County and California, and expedite the urgent work of bringing everyone home.”

“With the state facing a growing housing and homelessness crisis, Assemblymember Santiago led a successful effort last year to remove barriers slowing the construction in Los Angeles of much-needed supportive housing and emergency shelters for homeless residents,” said Ray Pearl, Executive Director of the California Housing Consortium. “This bill takes the next logical step: extending these provisions statewide to allow more communities wrestling with homelessness to quickly approve and support the development of the affordable housing we need to help people get off the street—and prevent homelessness in the first place.”

“We are proud to co-sponsor this critical and timely piece of legislation,” said Los Angeles Business Council President Mary Leslie. “Homelessness is the humanitarian crisis of our time and is not solely bound to the borders of Los Angeles. AB 1907 a necessary expansion to speed up the production of much needed homeless housing, shelters, and affordable housing across the state at a time when every unit counts. We thank Assemblymember Santiago for spearheading this effort to use every tool we have at our disposal to address the homelessness crisis.”

“In November the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Council released polling results that showed that 95% of voters identified homelessness as a top concern. We know that homes end homelessness, and that we need to respond to homelessness as an emergency, rather than accepting it as business as usual,” said Ann Sewill, Vice President of the California Community Foundation. “This bill will remove barriers to building supportive housing and shelters quickly and efficiently.”

“Californians need more supportive housing and affordable housing — and we need it fast. AB 1907 will remove barriers and delays that are slowing down affordable housing projects that have funding and are shovel ready,” Alan Greenlee, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing added. “Californians understand that this is a crisis, so we need to further streamline how we build affordable housing. Homelessness has affected every community in California, and this bill will expand the benefits of AB 1197 throughout the state.”

AB 1197 (Santiago) was signed last year to speed up the environmental review process for emergency and supportive housing projects in the City of Los Angeles. AB 1907 further builds upon this success and expands AB 1197 statewide for homeless emergency shelters, supportive housing and affordable housing.

AB 1907 will most likely be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources committee in March or April of 2020.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance Committee and the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committee on Health, Public Safety, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.

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