This year’s legislative session closed with Governor Brown signing three Bay Area Council-backed bills aimed at easing California’s spiraling homelessness crisis. SB 1045 (Wiener) creates a five-year pilot program for San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego counties to experiment with stronger conservatorship laws to remove people with severe mental illnesses from the streets. SB 918 (Wiener) requires state agencies to better track outreach and effectiveness of programs targeting homeless youth. AB 2162 (Chiu) provides expedited permitting for new housing developments that set aside certain percentages of their units for permanent supportive housing.

The Bay Area has the third largest homeless population in the United States behind New York City and Los Angeles County. In recent surveys of Bay Area Council member companies, solving chronic homelessness has emerged as one of the highest public policy priorities. This year, the Bay Area Council formed a homelessness task force to guide the Council on regional homelessness policies, and we are working with McKinsey & Co. to produce a first-of-its-kind regional assessment of homelessness in the Bay Area to be completed in early 2019. To engage with the Council’s homelessness policy work, please contact Vice President, Public Policy Adrian Covert.