$2 billion to go to housing mentally ill homeless people

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on July 1st allowing the state to use $2 billion in bond money to house and treat mentally ill Californians who are homeless.

The bipartisan bill, called “No Place Like Home,” will send counties bond money from future Proposition 63 mental-health revenues to create affordable-housing programs for mentally ill homeless people.

Prop. 63, which is also known as the Mental Health Services Act, passed in 2004 and has raised more than $13 billion through a 1 percent income tax on residents who earn more than $1 million a year.

Supporters of the bill, AB1618, said it will put a roof over the heads of tens of thousands of the state’s most vulnerable residents while giving them the care they need. AB1618 includes funding to help homeless youths and veterans.  Read the full story on SF Gate.   Learn more about MHSA in San Mateo County.

In San Mateo County, rents increased by almost 70% from 2010 to 2015. The San Mateo County Mental Health and Substance Use Commissions recently compiled a Housing Forum Report  documenting the challenges of finding safe and  affordable housing and the impact it has had on our clients.

Homes are considered “affordable” to only about 2 out of 10 very low-income households and 4 out of 10 low-income households in San Mateo County. As a result, some of these individuals find themselves cycling in and out of homelessness, incarceration, shelters, and hospitals.   Lack of safe and affordable housing is one of the most powerful barriers to recovery.     Read the Commission’s full report.