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File #: 2022-2042   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 6/7/2022
Title: Adoption of Resolution to Endorse the Alameda County Home Together 2026 Community Plan: A 5-Year Strategic Framework Centering Racial Equity to End Homelessness in Alameda County (Community Development 10061833)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Implementation Plan, 2. Resolution

Title

 

Adoption of Resolution to Endorse the Alameda County Home Together 2026 Community Plan: A 5-Year Strategic Framework Centering Racial Equity to End Homelessness in Alameda County (Community Development 10061833)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The Home Together 2026 Community Plan: A 5-year Strategic Framework Centering Racial Equity to End Homelessness in Alameda County (Home Together 2026 Plan) lays out goals, strategies, and investments needed to dramatically reduce homelessness and racial disparities in the homeless population by 2026. The Home Together 2026 Plan is responsive to the requirements laid out in the California Comeback Plan and is informed by and aligned with other local and regional efforts, including the All Home Regional Action Plan, Plan Bay Area 2050, and Regional Impact Council’s Regional Action Plan. In order to be eligible for Alameda County (County) pass-through funding for homelessness, including State of California (State) Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) funding, the County expects the City of Alameda (City) to endorse this plan through resolution.

 

Staff is requesting that the City Council adopt the resolution endorsing the Home Together 2026 Plan.

 

BACKGROUND

 

On any given night in the County, more than 9,700 people experience homelessness-and this figure increased by 22% from the 2019 Point in Time (PIT) Count to the most current PIT, which occurred on February 23, 2022. In the city, our unhoused population increased by 14% from 2019 to 2022, with a 36% increase in unsheltered individuals.  Over the past decade, the County and its cities have seen dramatic increases in homelessness, including a staggering 222% increase in unsheltered homelessness. There are also unacceptable racial disparities in who experiences homelessness. Eleven percent of the County population identifies as Black, yet 47%, more than four times that rate, of our homeless population identifies as Black. In the city, seven percent of our population identify as Black, yet 44% of our sheltered homeless population identifies as black. Native Americans, multiracial people and Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islanders are vastly overrepresented in the County’s newly homeless and recidivism numbers. The 2020 Centering Racial Equity in Homeless System Design report was completed in the summer of 2020 for the Office of Homeless Care and Coordination and demonstrates quantitatively the impact of race on homelessness. Regional Impact Council’s Regional Action Plan (RAP), a collaborative work group of nine Bay Area counties, addresses the allocation of resources to address the racial disparities and prevent homelessness for disproportionately impacted racial groups. 

 

In 2021, the State passed AB 140, which included the largest single investment in homelessness ($12 billion) in the State’s history. This includes two billion dollars budgeted for the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) program in fiscal years 2021 to 2023 as part of the California Comeback Plan, which provides direct local aid to counties, continuums of care, and the State’s 13 big cities (populations over 300,000). To be eligible for this funding, local government recipients must submit Local Action Plans that prove how they will use the resources, and how those uses will result in measurable impacts to reducing homelessness Statewide. Local plans that were completed in the past three years are eligible to meet this State planning requirement. To this end, beginning in 2019, the County Continuum of Care (CoC) and cities in the County collaborated with federal technical assistance providers to perform a detailed analysis of our homeless system data and met extensively with people experiencing homelessness. The goal was to understand specifically what was needed to end homelessness, and what it would cost-and hear directly from the people with lived experience about what works and what does not. This effort resulted in the 2021 Centering Racial Equity in Homeless System Design report, which outlined the needs analysis in detail. The Home Together 2026 Plan is the County’s blueprint for meeting the State’s Local Action Plan requirement to draw down and leverage significant new State funding based on the identified significant gaps in terms of both housing resources and programming needs.

 

The Home Together 2026 Plan analyses show that without significant additional investments, our County’s homeless population will continue to grow at an exponential rate. At the current rate of investment, only an estimated 36% of those experiencing homelessness are supported by the system. The plan specifies that we need 24,000 additional “housing pathways” - i.e., specific interventions to meet the varied needs of people on the streets, which include:

 

                     $430M for shelter - to add new shelter beds, removing barriers to existing beds (allowing pets or removing curfews, for example), and providing needed mental and behavioral health treatment access.

                     $1.68B for permanent housing - adding new units to our stock, and increasing spending to subsidize our existing stock.

                     $388M for prevention - to add resources to rapidly rehouse those who have recently fallen into homelessness and do not need significant supportive services, and to target homeless prevention assistance to those who are most likely to wind up on the streets.

The report also demonstrates that we need significant new investments and supports for the nonprofit and government staff who perform this work. The total cost to fully meet these needs, and significantly reduce homelessness, is $2.5B over five years. 

 

Thanks to a joint planning effort by the County Board of Supervisors and the Alameda County Conference of Mayors, the Home Together 2026 Plan includes a framework for City-County Partnership on resources to end homelessness, which outlines how City projects will receive priority consideration for County funding under the Home Together 2026 Plan. Under this framework, in order to be eligible for homelessness funding that originates or passes through the County, a city homelessness program must demonstrate how it meets the measurable performance goals outlined in the Home Together 2026 Plan. Projects currently receiving County-administered funding that meet performance benchmarks will receive priority consideration (within applicable procurement guidelines) for future County administered funding, with the goal of preventing disruptions in service. Similarly, if a city’s direct allocation of State or federal resources is one-time or discontinued, projects funded by such sources that meet performance benchmarks will also receive priority consideration to prevent service disruption and any reduction in system wide capacity. If a program is not found to be eligible for funding or fails to meet performance benchmarks, the City and County will work together on a transition plan for impacted participants. New projects are primarily the responsibility of city governments, with the County prioritizing those projects that can demonstrate how they meet performance targets.

 

The Home Together 2026 Plan is included as an Exhibit 1 to this report. To be eligible for County pass-through funding, the County expects the City to endorse the plan and signal their commitment to prioritizing local investments in accordance with the plan. Staff therefore recommends that the City Council endorse the plan.

 

DISCUSSION

 

In October 2019, the County initiated the systems modeling initiative, which leveraged federal technical assistance to perform a detailed analysis of our homeless system data, and conduct a series of in-depth interviews and focus groups with people experiencing homelessness, to determine the scope of the programs and resources that would be needed to significantly reduce homelessness and racial disparities in homelessness across the County. In February 2021, this modeling effort culminated in the release of the County CoC’s Centering Racial Equity in Homeless System Design Report.

 

In July, 2021, the Governor signed AB 140, the State budget bill, which made $2 billion in local homeless aid resources available to counties, continuums of care, and the State’s 13 big cities (population of 300,000 or more). In December, 2021, the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the first $1 billion tranche of this funding. The County CoC and County will submit a joint application for their formula-driven share of this funding stream, which is over $23.2 million. The NOFA requires that applicants complete a Local Action Plan as part of their submission to the State, which details the scope of homelessness in the jurisdiction and the resources and programs available to address it, and sets performance goals for measurably reducing homelessness in the jurisdiction. The NOFA stipulates that a local analysis completed in the last three years can be submitted in place of the Local Action Plan, so long as the performance goals are also included. Jurisdictions that meet their performance goals are eligible to draw down on bonus funding. The plan must cover the entire CoC (in the County, this includes all 14 cities and the unincorporated County), meaning that each jurisdiction must endorse it in order to be eligible to draw down any passthrough funding.

 

In May, 2021, a joint meeting of the County Board of Supervisors and County Conference of Mayors created a Technical Working Group (TWG) of staff from the County and the cities of Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, and Oakland (i.e., cities from each major region of the County); the TWG was charged with finding ways to enhance the coordination of the County and its cities in addressing homelessness, and specifically ways that funding sources could be braided to meet this goal. The TWG met regularly throughout 2021 and developed a framework for City-County partnership on resources to end homelessness. The framework, developed by the jurisdictions represented in the TWG, identifies how City homeless projects will be prioritized for County funding consideration. Other cities within the County, including Alameda, who participated in the monthly Mayors Homeless Working Group, were also given an opportunity to share input on the framework with the TWG. In a joint meeting of the County Supervisors and the Mayors on February 24, this framework was unanimously approved and recommended for inclusion in the final Home Together 2026 Plan.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

                     The City Council may adopt the resolution to endorse the Home Together 2026 Plan.

                     The City Council may reject the adoption of the resolution to endorse the Home Together 2026 Plan.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Approving this recommendation has no direct fiscal impacts. However, in order to be eligible for County pass through funding for homelessness, including State HHAP funding, the County expects cities to endorse this plan. There are indirect and downstream fiscal benefits to endorsing the plan.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

This action does not constitute a “project” as defined in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15378 and therefore no further CEQA analysis is required.

 

CLIMATE IMPACT

 

There are no climate impacts associated with this recommendation, however, the Social Vulnerability Assessment section of the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan states:

 

“[A]daptation strategies should consider how [the homeless] will receive emergency communications and how they will be sheltered. Proper, safe housing for all is an adaptation and resilience strategy. Planning strategies should always consider these vulnerable populations in adaptation efforts.”

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Adopt a resolution to endorse the Alameda County Home Together 2026 Community Plan: A 5-Year Strategic Framework Centering Racial Equity to End Homelessness in Alameda County.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Maxwell, Community Development Director

 

By,

Lois Butler, Economic Development and Community Services Manager

Marcie Johnson, Social Services Manager

 

Exhibit:

1.                     Alameda County Home Together 2026 Implementation Plan

cc:                     Dirk Brazil, Interim City Manager