SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An assemblymember is pushing a bill aimed at removing homeless encampments and providing occupants with coordinated entry to housing in a timely manner.
Assemblymember Phillip Chen on Wednesday introduced assembly bill 1908, which would require the Department of Transportation to establish the Homeless Encampment and Litter Program on department property.
Under AB 1908, a “multidisciplinary personnel team” will be assigned to provide those living in homeless encampments with expedited access to housing and supportive services. These teams would work to clean up and ensure the removal of encampments on department property.
The bill states, “Before proceeding to remove a homeless encampment, the bill would require the department to use best efforts to assist occupants of the encampment to voluntarily accept supportive services and relocate. If the department responds to 3 or more homeless encampments within 30 days at the same location, the bill would require, rather than authorize, the department to offer the location for lease for purposes of a temporary emergency shelter or feeding program.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that he is seeking $750 million in part to help pay rent for people facing homelessness in the state’s latest attempt to fight what he called a national crisis.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said this week in a homeless assessment report released to Congress that a 16% homelessness increase in California, or about 21,000 people, pushed up the national figure.