In addition to housing bills, the Governor signed two bills that focus on mental health and substance abuse but have significant housing provisions.

SB 326 (Eggman, D-Stockton) modernizes the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) by, among other things, providing ongoing resources for housing. The law sets aside 30% of MHSA funds for housing intervention programs, with 50% of the funds made available for housing interventions for persons who are chronically homeless, with a focus on those in encampments, and up to 25% of the funds available for capital development projects.

AB 531 (Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks) places a $6.38 billion General Obligation Bond on the March 2024 ballot to fund the development of an estimated 11,150 supportive housing units and treatment beds throughout the State, with a dedicated focus on veterans. Additionally, it would provide funding-intensive services, including assistance to homeless people with severe mental illness.

The Governor also unveiled a plan, which he calls the California Mental Health Movement, to address mental health and substance abuse. As part of the plan’s $28 billion budget, $10.9 billion would be made available for the creation of an estimated 24,800 beds/housing units and 45,800 outpatient treatment slots for people with behavioral health issues.

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About the Author

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Colleen Murphy is a Principal with LeSar Development Consultants’ Homelessness Solutions Team, where she designs and implements homelessness-related programs emphasizing unsheltered/encampment strategies and the intersection of homelessness and healthcare. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from James Madison University and a postgraduate diploma in Epidemiology from the University of London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Biography | Email

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