Gov. Brown nudged to sign bill enabling more homeless shelters

San Francisco and Oakland leaders pushed this week for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a bill that will help a number cities and counties to cut some of the red tape when it comes to building new homeless shelters.

The bill, AB 932, introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), will help create a pilot program for cities of Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego along with the Santa Clara County and the City and County of San Francisco, to streamline the process and construction of creating shelters for the homeless and supportive housing.

Ting said Wednesday:

“Our legislation allows each of these jurisdictions to adopt a plan, to streamline the construction of housing the homeless.”

Upon a declaration of a shelter crisis, the cities and counties will adopt local standards for housing livability, zoning and construction approval for temporary homeless shelters. The California Department of Housing and Community Development will review the ordinances for approval.

Cities will also need to report to the state legislature annually on how the new bill has helped with homelessness.

Ting said:

“We know this not a silver bullet, but this one of the arrows in the quiver that can go to helping solve this problem.”

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed said homeless tents are rising in at an alarming rate in The City and in Oakland:

“We have to find creative solutions to get them in permanent housing.”

Breed added that the bill will make a big difference in The City:

“It’s going to provide us the tools we need to move forward a lot more rapidly.”

Oakland Council member Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who represents District 3, said AB 932 will help expedite the building process for new homeless shelters, especially those living in tents in her district:

“Because even though we know we can’t build our way out of this crisis, we know we need to expedite the building so we can get people into housing.”

Jeff Kositsky, director of the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said AB 932 will move forward in the building shelter navigation centers faster:

“…Because we cannot go fast enough.”

The senate and assembly both passed Ting’s bill, and now waits for Brown to sign the bill. The governor has until Oct. 15 to sign or veto any bills.