- State Data Overview
Across California, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.KeyFacts1,302,810Or22%Renter households that are extremely low income$25,850Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)-998,613Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters$72,165Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.77%Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
- State Level PartnersState Partners
Mr. Rob Wiener, Executive Director
Ms. Alicia Sebastian, Director of Housing & Community Development Programs
Mr. Matt Schwartz, President
Mr. David Zisser, Associate Director
Ms. Amie Fishman, Executive Director
Mr. Pedro Galvao, Policy Director
Mr. J.R. Starrett, Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement
Mr. Alan Greenlee, Executive Director
Mr. Frank Martinez, Policy Director
Become an NLIHC State Partner
NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.
Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]
- Housing Trust FundHTF Implementation Information
NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Joseph Lindstrom with any questions.Current Year HTF Allocation
$32,376,691HTF State Resources
HHC webinar at: https://bit.ly/31susXQ
2017 HTF Allocation Plan (PDF)
HTF NOFA (PDF)
FAQs 07/31/2018 (PDF)
FAQs 07/25/2018 (PDF)
Draft Annual Action Plan (PDF)
2016 and 2017 HTF Awards (PDF)
2016 and 2017 HTF Awards (PDF)State Designated Entity:
Acting Deputy Director, Housing Policy Development
California Department of Housing and Community Development
909-2632911Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:
Housing for a Healthy California Program
State Entity Webpage
NHTF-specific pages11 MB
State Housing Profile
Congressional District Housing Profile
Research and Data
National Housing Preservation Database
The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.
Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes
- Take Action
- COVID-19 ResourcesCOVID-19 Resources
Many cities and states are establishing rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. This tracker links to news reports of various city, state and philanthropic rental assistance programs that are being established during the pandemic. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of rental assistance.
City Description Source Alhambra The city of Alhambra is offering $596,000 in emergency funding for housing assistance and to supplement a meals program for seniors. https://tinyurl.com/y97qkdmv Coachella Valley United Way of the Desert, in partnership with Lift to Rise, offers $200 emergency cash to those who qualify. https://tinyurl.com/ycfx28ae Palo Alto The Mountain View City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to create a $500,000 renter assistance program to stave off evictions amid mounting wage losses and economic hardship caused by the new coronavirus. https://tinyurl.com/y7olauyw Orange County Orange County United Way has established a relief fund to prevent people helped by rapid re-housing and transitional living programs from becoming homeless. It offers $500 to pay rent. https://tinyurl.com/ybq99psh San Pablo The Housing Successor Agency of the City of San Pablo announced a COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant Program today that will provide a one-time grant of up to $1,000 per household for residents of the city. The grant can be used to “help pay for rent, mortgage or utility payments during the Contra Costa County Shelter-in-Place caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to the city. https://tinyurl.com/yd5legsv Santa Clara County Sacred Heart Community Service provided over $11 million in funds for rental assistance to families and individuals at risk of becoming homeless. https://tinyurl.com/y7gmqoyt Long Beach The Long Beach City Council is considering using federal Community Development Block Grant money, typically reserved for low and moderate income households, to fund a rental assistance program, but it could also use private and philanthropic sources to grow the pool of available money. https://tinyurl.com/ydx759rw Los Angeles The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal by Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis to create an Emergency Rent Assistance Program during the COVID-19 crisis. When it is created, the program could provide up to $1000 per month for three months to renters who have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic. https://tinyurl.com/yavzqlzy Marin County The Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved doubling the size of an existing safety net COVID-19 Response Fund for immediate rental assistance for the homeless and those facing homelessness.The county and the Marin Community Foundation each contributed $500,000 to the relief fund on March 24. Of the $1 million, $650,000 was allocated for rental assistance between March 31 and June 30. On April 21, the county and the Marin Community Foundation each contributed an additional $500,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund. https://tinyurl.com/yb6kmm84 Napa County The Napa City Council is reallocating approximately $1.4 million from its Housing Division for rental assistance for tenants. About $400,000 of the total will be drawn from an existing program to support low-income first-time homeowners, funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ferrell received permission from the state and HUD to use a portion of the city’s award from last year for rental assistance instead. The remaining $1 million will come from money the city has collected in loan repayments from earlier low-income homebuyers. https://tinyurl.com/y7azyond
Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.
Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:
Harbor House, a smaller season shelter in the Thousand Oaks area of Ventura County, closed early on March 13. This was a rotational shelter provided by a coalition of churches in the area that is generally open from December through the end of March. Many of the volunteers who are essential for operating the shelter and meal programs are elders and at higher risk of COVID-19.
In San Francisco, the city has told shelters to stop admitting new people but has opened a new shelter in an attempt to free up additional space.
An op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses that while the coronavirus does not discriminate against who it infects, our social structures do. The authors argue that providing shelter in vacant hotel rooms is the most effective way to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing that state environmental regulations should be waived for cities and counties that want to convert hotels into housing for people experiencing homelessness using federal funding.
The heatwave sweeping across the Bay Area during the middle of the coronavirus pandemic places seniors and people experiencing homelessness at higher risk of illness. Advocates are urging the city and county to use vacant hotel rooms to shelter seniors and people experiencing homelessness.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board outlined seven steps that California can take to prevent a coronavirus-related housing and homelessness disaster. The article discussed solutions such as emergency rental assistance and purchasing hotels and motels for permanent housing.
Approximately half of the 15,000 hotel and motel rooms that California has leased are occupied. The occupied rooms account for less than 5% of the 151,000 people experiencing homelessness across shelter. As of May 18, 7,919 hotel rooms were occupied and another 7,700 were vacant.
California counties are facing barriers to housing people experiencing homelessness in hotels across the state. Acquiring rooms, negotiating leases, managing local protests, and getting adequate staffing are some of the concerns expressed by local officials.
Dozens of community members protested on May 16 outside of a Motel 6 in Rosemead, which will soon provide shelters to people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. The protesters expressed concerns about how the hotel program, which is part of California’s Project Roomkey, might negatively impact on the community.
Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal on May 14. While the new budget eliminates the ambitious $750 million state fund for housing and homeless services, Governor Newsom intends to use $750 million in federal funds to buy the hotels and motels across the state.
The California Rental Housing Association is urging cities and counties to dedicate millions of dollars in federal grants to rental assistance. The association, composed of more than 20,000 rental housing owners, has proposed a statewide rental assistance program, which could provide up to three months of assistance to renters experiencing financial loss due to COVID-19.
A hotel in downtown Los Angeles has been converted into a 460-room temporary homeless shelter. The Salvation Army will provide mental health and substance abuse services at the hotel, and the program will be open for 90 days.
Marin County legislators have expressed frustration that the Newsom administration has not moved quickly enough to share federal coronavirus relief funds with smaller counties and cities. The CARES Act allocated $9.8 billion directly to California, and jurisdictions with more than $500,000 residents received approximately $5.8 billion. Jurisdictions with smaller populations, like Marin County, are still waiting on California to allocate a portion of its federal funds.
An article in the Los Angeles Times examines the logistical challenges of testing people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County.
There has been a significant increase in deaths of people experiencing homelessness in Orange County, with deaths in April reaching their highest level in at least five years. Health officials state that they are unsure how many people experiencing homelessness have been tested for the coronavirus.
Nearly two months after San Jose received more than 100 trailers from the state to provide housing for people experiencing homelessness, the city is expected to use some of the trailers. The San Jose City Council unanimously approved the allocation of nearly $730,000 to operate 90 trailers.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed faces growing criticism from city officials and advocates for not doing enough to move people experiencing homelessness into hotel rooms. While more than 1,000 people have been moved into hotel rooms, approximately 1,700 hotel rooms remain vacant.
Landlords in the Bay Area are still starting the eviction process and threatening to remove tenants despite California’s eviction moratorium. After a tenant who lost their job as an on-site property manager was threatened with eviction, the city of Alameda issued a press statement reiterating that state and local laws prohibit evictions during COVID-19.
San Jose City Council Members Sylvia Arenas and Maya Esparza discussed the need for a COVID-19 recovery that centers the needs of the most marginalized people in our communities.
Tenant and landlord groups across the Bay Area are urging federal and state officials to provide billions of dollars in rental assistance to prevent a wave of evictions and widespread housing insecurity. Amie Fishman, executive director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, an NLIHC state partner, highlighted the need for a bold federal aid package to address the needs of low-income tenants and future housing development.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that over the weekend, LA County officials have acquired an additional 505 motel rooms for people experiencing homelessness, bringing the total number of rooms to 2,711.
Homeless activists in Los Angeles are urging Mayor Eric Garcetti to use his emergency powers to commandeer hotels and motels to provide much needed shelter for people experiencing homelessness amid the pandemic.
An editorial in the Los Angeles Times discussed the “appalling” nature of NIMBYism against housing for people experiencing homelessness, especially during a pandemic. Some cities, including Lawndale and Covina, have protested decisions to provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness in local hotels.
San Francisco officials announced that the city has acquired more than 120 recreational vehicles and trailers to shelter people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19. Of the 120 trailers, 91 were provided by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and 29 were leased by the city.
The city of Encinitas entered into an agreement on March 20 with a local nonprofit to house up to 80 households experiencing homelessness in motels. When the first batch of vouchers neared the expiration dates and California released a more detailed list of hotel room eligibility, the Encinitas City Council announced that it would only fund voucher extensions for up to 22 households until May 15. Many individuals experiencing homelessness in the city have already returned to their prior living situations or will soon, increasing their vulnerability to the coronavirus.
San Francisco’s largest homeless shelter, Multi-Service Center South, experienced one of the city’s largest outbreaks. The shelter opened again last week after the city shut down the facility to clean and moved its residents to private hotel rooms.
A resident of an Oakland homeless encampment has tested positive for COVID-19. Health officials are rushing to test and isolate the individual’s contacts to prevent an outbreak.
Los Angeles County Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn co-authored a motion to expand the county’s efforts to house seniors experiencing homelessness in vacant hotel and motel rooms. Ridley-Thomas and Hahn have expressed the urgent need to create a sustainable crisis response that addresses the needs of people experiencing homelessness after the acute crisis is over.
California jails and prisons are releasing thousands of people who were incarcerated for non-violent offenses to reduce crowding and stem the spread of COVID-19; however, activists and service providers report that many of the people recently released from Bay Area jails are ending up in encampments, shelters, or sleeping in their cars.
Remezcla spoke with Oscar Cruz, the chief operating officer of United Way of Los Angeles, to learn more about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County.
Two people experiencing homelessness who were sheltering at the San Diego Convention Center have tested positive for COVID-19. Both individuals will be kept off-site until it is safe for them to return to the shelter or be released to a permanent housing solution.
The Los Angeles Times examined how the coronavirus may impact California’s plan to address the housing crisis: density.
U.S. District Judge David O. Carter overruled cities’ objections to Governor Gavin Newsom’s emergency order to house people experiencing homelessness at local hotels. Several cities, including Bell Gardens and Lawndale, made efforts to prevent local hotels from contracting with Los Angeles County as part of Project Roomkey.
The Pathways/STAIR Center, a Berkeley homeless shelter, has been shut down temporarily after one of its residents tested positive for COVID-19. Most of the residents were moved to an Oakland hotel that is part of Project Roomkey.
People experiencing homelessness who have not tested positive for COVID-19 and do not have symptoms will have access to a new isolation site at a LaQuinta Inn in Berkeley. This hotel would be the third known site for people experiencing homelessness in Alameda County.
Health officials announced that 43 residents and staff of the Union Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter in Los Angeles, have tested positive for COVID-19. More than 200 tests were administered at the shelter within the past week.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will deploy medical street teams and set up trailers to protect people experiencing homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic. Street teams will conduct rapid-result COVID-19 testing, health screenings, and provide access to shelters or other temporary housing. The Los Angeles Fire Department will also open a pop-up testing clinic in Skid Row.
San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed announced on April 22 that the first round of funding from the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been allocated. The Give2SF will provide access to housing and food security for San Franciscans, with a focus on supporting undocumented residents, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Chico’s recently appointed Homeless Solutions Coordinator, Joy Amaro, reported that 88 people experiencing homelessness are currently being housed in hotel and motel rooms. According to documents sent to the Chico City Council, Amaro is exploring additional solutions for providing shelter to people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19, including “safe parking zones.”
East Bay service providers are scrambling to avoid a repeat of what happened in San Francisco last week, where officials were unable to avoid an outbreak of COVID-19 from occurring at one the city’s largest homeless shelters.
None of the 93 homeless people who tested positive for the coronavirus in San Francisco’s largest shelter showed serious symptoms of the disease, lending urgency to the need for widespread public testing and emphasizing the importance of “contact investigations” the city is now ramping up.
Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on Project Roomkey, a program to house people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. He announced that California has acquired 10,974 hotel rooms and 5,025 motel rooms. Motel 6 is providing rooms for people experiencing homelessness at 47 locations in 19 counties in California. He said that more than 4,000 sheltered and unsheltered people have been moved into motel rooms thus far.
Governor Newsom charged some municipalities of resisting the conversion of hotels and motels into emergency housing. He accused certain cities of allowing NIMBY politics to interfere with a public health imperative.
After a COVID-19 outbreak at San Francisco’s largest homeless shelter infected at least 105 people as of last Friday, the city is shifting its approach to addressing homelessness during the pandemic. San Francisco’s city council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance mandating the city to acquire 8,250 hotel rooms for homeless people by April 26.
Although President Trump quickly granted California Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for a major disaster declaration on Monday, the Administration left out a large amount of individual aid programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to worsen California’s already extreme shortage of affordable housing.
CalMatters took a look at the five biggest housing-related challenges for the state during the pandemic.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide eviction ban for renters affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Homeless service providers and government officials are scrambling to house the homeless as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in the state.
An increasing number of food service centers in California that many homeless residents depend on have shut down.
The interim director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority told county officials that they hope to place all individuals in COVID-19-related programs into permanent housing by April 2022. Service providers plan to increase their capacity to identify housing units and fill the rooms within seven days of acquiring them.
Los Angeles announced the country’s largest COVID-19-related rental assistance program, which is estimated to help up to 80,000 families. City Council President Nury Martinez proposed that $100 million of the $700 million allocated to Los Angeles in the CARES Act be allocated to the renter’s relief fund. Those who qualify could potentially receive $1,000 per month for up to two months.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority discussed short-, medium-, and long-term strategies to rapidly move 15,000 people experiencing homelessness into housing. The LA Rehousing Recovery Strategy will involve a large-scale effort to acquire and lease properties, and it will rely on emergency local, state, and federal investments.
More than 300 people experiencing homelessness were moved into an undisclosed hotel in downtown Los Angeles as part of Project Roomkey. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority hopes that Project Roomkey is a launching pad to provide services and permanent affordable housing.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized the Los Angeles County Development Authority to use Community Development Block Grant funds to create and administer the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Los Angeles advocates and Mayor Eric Garcetti are objecting to US District Judge David O. Carter’s order to move thousands of people experiencing homelessness living near freeways, overpasses, and off-ramps. Mayor Garcetti and others are concerned that the order could result in people experiencing homelessness being moved, but not into shelters or housing.
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on May 15 requiring the city of Los Angeles and LA County to provide shelter for an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 people experiencing homelessness camping near freeway ramps and under overpasses. U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter gave officials until May 22 to develop a plan for providing humane housing for thousands of people experiencing homelessness living near freeways.
Orange County is currently converting a disused juvenile detention center to host beds for homeless individuals that are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19.
A high-end L.A. hotel is now the home for homeless fleeing COVID. The city hopes to secure 15,000 hotel rooms for the city’s homeless population.
Sacramento County has converted three motels into temporary shelters for people experiencing homelessness without completing the typical process of seeking public input and City Council approvals. While the leases for the three motels do not contain purchase agreements, local officials are working on a plan to provide permanent housing for the individuals staying in motels after the pandemic passes.
In Sacramento, the state’s stay at home order has been in place for two weeks, but no new shelter beds have been created. As a result, individuals experiencing homelessness are resorting to living in vacant homes. Sacramento police removed three homeless adults from a vacant home they resided in, citing them for trespass.
Business Insider explored San Francisco’s temporary sanctioned tent encampments. San Francisco city supervisors, homeless advocates, and service providers have criticized Mayor London Breed’s refusal to acquire more than 8,000 hotel rooms to protect people experiencing homelessness.
As of last week, only 1,011 of 2,768 - or approximately 37% - of vacant hotel rooms in San Francisco acquired through Project Roomkey were occupied, putting the city far behind other California counties. San Francisco disputed these statistics, saying that they have filled at least 47% of the rooms, including “vulnerable populations” in addition to people experiencing homelessness in their counts.
While San Francisco has swept homeless encampments for years, the city is now establishing city-sanctioned open-air encampments. San Francisco launched the first of five “Safe Sleeping Sites,” with the hope that people experiencing homelessness can practice social distancing in a controlled site and have access to shelters and foods.
Bay Area authorities are working to quickly get individuals experiencing homelessness off the street – moving some 2,000 people in its shelters to new locations throughout the city.
The San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing advised homeless shelters in the city to not accept new residents. It additionally sent out instructions for social distancing, but told providers not to implement them until notified by the agency.
San Francisco is reporting its first case of COVID-19 at a homeless shelter. The individual is in isolation at a hotel room. The city is encouraging homeless residents to pitch tents for protection.
The City of Laguna Woods is “deeply concerned” with Orange County’s decision to place COVID-19 positive individuals inside a hotel in that city.
The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly increasing California’s efforts to house individuals experiencing homelessness. California has procured 7,000 hotel rooms to temporarily house individuals with COVID-19, COVID-19 symptoms, or are uniquely vulnerable to the disease.
Thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness in San Francisco remain on the street – despite thousands of hotel rooms remaining empty. Inaction early on in the crisis and political disagreements threaten to stall efforts to house the entire population – not just the lucky few.
The number of coronavirus infections at a single San Francisco homeless shelter went from five to 70 in three days. The outbreak, which included two staff members, is the largest reported at a single shelter in the United States.
In San Francisco, doctors face difficult choices as the number of homeless individuals with COVID increases. It is difficult to release homeless patients from the hospital to anywhere other than the streets: shelters stopped admitting new people over well-founded concerns about the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak among residents, eliminating precious shelter beds in a city with only 1,200 of them to serve 7,600 homeless adults.
The City of Santa Fey will be using city and county funds to rent hotel rooms for some of the most at-risk members of its homeless population.
Santa Rosa will open its first-ever city-sanctioned homeless encampment to protect people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. The new sanctioned site will be able to accommodate up to 140 people.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that a recently renovated Super 8 motel will serve as temporary housing for families experiencing homelessness who have been impacted by the pandemic. The motel is making available 42 units, a fitness room, laundry facilities, and a shared kitchen and communal spaces.
Several weeks after Oakland opened 67 trailers on a vacant lot to house people experiencing homelessness, some residents are complaining of water, electrical, and safety issues that have sent two people to the hospital. Eighty-four people have moved into the shelters so far. An Oakland spokesperson said that the city and service providers are working on fixing these maintenance issues.
San Francisco Department of Public Health
- San Francisco Interim Guidance for Safe Sleeping Villages to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 - May 19
- San Francisco Interim Guidance for Safe Sleeping for Unsheltered Persons Experiencing Homelessness to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 - May 19
The San Francisco Street Sheet released 7 steps they are urging the city to do to address the needs of homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless as a result of COVID-19. The steps aim to slow the spread of COVID-19 among unhoused populations.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health has provided interim guidance for medical providers caring for people who use drugs (PWUD) and need to be quarantined. The guide provides general recommendations as well as specific recommendations for various drug types.
San José shared steps the city has taken to mitigate the impact COVID-19 could have on homeless individuals and families. The City is looking to expand temporary shelter capacity, increase the amount of hygiene equipment, and more.
Nevada County's Homeless Plan follows the guidance provided by the local, State and Federal government as pertains to COVID-19 and Homelessness. As that guidance changes and the situation evolve, the plan will be updated as resources allow.COVID-19 Resources Other
New State and Local Resources
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- Guidance on Proper Grouping (Cohorting) of Residents
- Guidance on Social Distancing and Bed Positioning for Residential and Congregate Settings
- Isolation Tracking Log
- Quarantine Tracking Log
What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d
Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb