Safe Place for Youth Cosponsors California Senate Bill 7

The “Homeless Housing Obligation Act” is heading to the Senate Appropriations Committee. It obligates California cities and counties to plan for and provide housing opportunities for their unhoused residents.


VENICE, CA — Safe Place for Youth (SPY) is proud to cosponsor California Senate Bill 7 in partnership with Inner City Law Center. This is the first time SPY is co-sponsoring a bill in Sacramento and Thursday it heads to the California Senate Appropriations Committee. 


This bill would require localities to provide affordable homes to individuals experiencing homelessness and create the Homeless Housing Obligation Fund to support localities in fulfilling this obligation. By adding the housing needs of individuals experiencing homelessness to State Housing Element Law, SB 7 ensures that each city is doing its fair share to address all of its residents’ housing needs.


The bill is authored by Senator Catherine Blakespear, Senate District 38. 


“SB 7 essentially seeks to mandate that local jurisdictions meet the housing needs of their homeless populations. This bill adds the category of homelessness to RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation). The premise of RHNA is that every city and county is obligated to plan for housing at all income levels. There are currently five income categories, which start at above moderate income and go to extremely low income. But critically, there is no requirement for cities and counties to plan for the housing of their homeless population specifically,” Blakespear said.  


“We have many, many federal, state and philanthropically funded programs that help our unsheltered neighbors. We also have the cold, hard facts that homelessness continues to get worse in this state every month, including within the shadow of the capital of the fourth largest economy in the world, right here in Sacramento. So we are simply stated, not keeping up with the need and we are not working systemically toward getting people out of encampments and into homes and the state has not provided an obligation for cities and counties to do this,”  Blakespear said.  


SPY serves over 1,000 unhoused people (ages 12-26) in Los Angeles each year. We offer interim and permanent housing, case management, freshly-prepared hot meals, education and employment assistance, healing arts and music programs, garden and farm programs, and other services. 


“As a youth homeless services provider, Safe Place for Youth is committed to advancing lasting, community-driven solutions that address systems of racial and social inequity; and by increasing access to safe and affordable housing with SB 7 we are doing just that. Since 2011, we have steadily increased available housing resources for youth, but we know that vastly more is needed - we will only be able to end homelessness if there is enough available housing. SB 7 will ensure that every locality is required to plan for and build sufficient housing for residents experiencing homelessness in their jurisdiction,” SPY Chief Executive Officer Erika Hartman said.


Safe Place for Youth is proud to cosponsor SB 7 to ensure all Californians have access to a safe, permanent, and affordable place to live. By passing SB 7, we can ensure every locality builds homes within reach for all its residents.


Californians can act now by contacting their representative to show support for S B7: