California

  • 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.

    K
    e
    y
    F
    a
    c
    t
    s
    1,302,810
    Or
    22%
    Renter households that are extremely low income
    $25,850
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    -998,613
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    $76,879
    Annual 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 Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Joey Lindstrom

    202.662.1530 x222 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    California Coalition for Rural Housing
    717 K St. Suite 400
    Sacramento, CA 95814-3406
    P 916-443-4448
    www.calruralhousing.org

    Rob Wiener, Executive Director
    [email protected]

    Alicia Sebastian, Director of Housing & Community Development Programs
    [email protected]


    California Housing Partnership
    369 Pine Street, Suite 300
    San Francisco, CA 94104-3327
    P 415-433-6804
    www.chpc.net

    Matt Schwartz, President
    [email protected]


    Housing California
    1107 9th Street, Suite 560
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    P 916-447-0503
    www.housingca.org

    David Zisser, Associate Director
    [email protected]

    Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
    369 Pine Street, Suite 350
    San Francisco, CA 94104-3302
    P 415-989-8160
    www.nonprofithousing.org

    Amie Fishman, Executive Director
    [email protected]

    Pedro Galvao, Policy Director
    [email protected]

    J.R. Starrett, Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement
    [email protected]


    Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing
    340 E. 2nd Street, Suite 406
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    P 213-480-1249
    www.scanph.org

    Alan Greenlee, Executive Director
    [email protected]

    Frank Martinez, Policy Director

    [email protected]

    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]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF 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.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    State Designated Entity:

    Vacant
    Acting Deputy Director, Housing Policy Development
    California Department of Housing and Community Development
    909-2632911

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:
  • Resources
    Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: California (PDF)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: California (PDF)

    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

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In California and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In California and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Tell Congress to Protect and Expand the National Housing Trust Fund
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Strong Support for Affordable Housing Programs
    Tell Congress that Opportunity Zones Must Benefit Low Income People and Long-Term Residents
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.  

    You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected]

    COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs
     

    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.

    Governor Gavin Newsom on October 16 announced the release of $30.7 million in the fifth round of awards for Project Homekey. With this round of awards, California has provided all available Homekey funding – more than $627 to 45 applicants and 71 projects totaling 4,646 units.

    The Milpitas City Council voted unanimously on October 15 to send a letter to Santa Clara County, asking that it halt plans to convert a 146-room hotel into 132 studio apartments for people experiencing homelessness. The $29.2 million project will be funded through California’s Project Homekey. Mayor Rich Tran threatened to sue California over the rushed plans, frustrated that the state would bypass local control, and droves of residents protested the plans, citing safety concerns.

    Marin County is close to acquiring two commercial buildings to house people experiencing homelessness using Project Homekey funds, but it is still developing a plan for winter sheltering. As Project Roomkey winds down, Marin County is working to find permanent housing for the individuals who were temporarily sheltered in three local motels.

    The San Jose City Council approved a plan to keep emergency shelters operating this winter and unanimously voted to purchase a 72-unit hotel to use as supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness.

    Updated on October 26, 2020


    Two new studies demonstrate deepening housing insecurity in the Bay Area, with the financial hardship disproportionately impacting communities of color. A study from Healing Grove Health Center, a San Jose-based nonprofit, estimates nearly 15,000 households in Santa Clara County are at imminent risk of homelessness when eviction protections expire in February.

    Residents at several Orange County motels received sudden notice that the Project Roomkey program would be closing October 16 or 23, depending on the site. County officials cite funding concerns as the primary reason for the abrupt end to the program. FEMA funding has been renewed on a monthly basis, with no guarantee that the agency will continue reimbursing Orange County for the costs. The county has been using Coronavirus Relief Fund money to cover the remaining 25% cost-share, but this money must be spent by December 30.

    Governor Gavin Newsom announced Salinas would receive $9.2 million in Project Homekey funds to put toward the acquisition of the Good Nite Inn. The Salinas City Council voted unanimously to purchase the existing motel and convert guest rooms into apartments while also providing services, like job training and substance abuse counseling.

    Mercury News interviewed Dr. Margot Kushel, director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, about how the coronavirus has changed the Bay Area’s homelessness crisis.

    Updated on October 19, 2020


    An LA Times article highlights the successes of Project Roomkey while acknowledging it is a short-term response to the long-term public health crisis. Governor Gavin Newsom says solving homelessness amid the COVID-19 remains his priority.

    The landlord lobby in San Francisco abandoned its effort to appeal a law providing tenants permanent relief from eviction if they could not pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Updated on October 14, 2020


    The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the city’s Project Roomkey will start winding down immediately, with all 2,340 hotel guests moved to other places by June 2021. Supervisor Matt Haney reports the program is being phased out under the assumption that FEMA will stop reimbursing it. Over the next several months, hotel residents will be connected to shelter beds, sanctioned encampments, housing vouchers, permanent supportive housing, or a city-funded bus ticket.

    Governor Gavin Newsom announced $137 million in the third round of Project Homekey awards to 15 applications for 19 projects totaling 938 units. Governor Newsom also announced he has asked the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to approve his request for an additional $200 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding (CRF) for Project Homekey.

    Cap Radio discusses homelessness in California during COVID-19, including an update on Project Homekey and how state lawmakers are working to address the growing risk of homelessness amid the ongoing pandemic.

    Mercury News reports Governor Gavin Newsom has asked the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee for an additional $200 million for Project Homekey. If approved, the request would increase the program’s buying power a third, enabling it to fund 20 more projects on the waitlist.

    There are reports that some of the recent fires at or near several encampments in Venice have been started deliberately. Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin filed a motion to offer an award for information leading to the identification, apprehension, and conviction of the person(s) responsible for these acts of arson. 

    Los Angeles’ largest landlord group, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA), announced on September 21 it had filed a preliminary injunction against the city of Los Angeles to stop the eviction moratorium and rent freeze. The AAGLA joins a landlord group that recently sued California, Los Angeles County, and several Southern California cities over several tenant eviction protections enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Outreach workers in Costa Mesa have started to see an increase in the number of displaced and financially insecure families in and around the city. City officials are developing a rental relief program that could come before the council in October.

    Updated on October 5, 2020


    The LA Times reports L.A. County’s Project Roomkey will drop several hundred beds each month until it ends early next year. Heidi Marston, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, expressed concerns about uncertain funding from FEMA and the potential for the agency to suddenly stop funding the program, forcing the county to abruptly shut down hotels.

    The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on September 23 to authorize the use of more than $10.4 million for an emergency legal defense program to support renters facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Governor Gavin Newsom announced more than $236 million in the second round of Project Homekey awards for 29 projects in 12 California communities, totaling 1,810 units.

    Efforts by the Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative to lease a motel under Project Roomkey were stymied by a NIMBY hospital that insisted the move would increase vandalism and theft.

    The San Jose City Council approved a 10-part anti-displacement plan to provide rental assistance and give nonprofit organizations first priority on property that goes on the market. The anti-displacement plan obligates city leaders to support federal legislation and private efforts to help tenants and landlords pay back rent and eliminate some of the legal costs of evictions.

    Capital & Main reports on advocates’ concerns that an unprecedented tsunami of evictions will occur when the federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of the year if Congress does not provide emergency rental assistance.

    Updated on September 29, 2020


    Governor Gavin Newsom announced on September 16 nearly $76.5 million in Project Homekey funds will be awarded to seven local jurisdictions for 10 projects totaling 579 units. 

    San Jose and Contra Costa County are among the first to be awarded Project Homekey funds. Kern County was awarded nearly $15 million from Project Homekey to acquire four sites totaling 151 units for permanent supportive housing. San Jose and Contra Costa County were also awarded Project Homekey funds. View the complete list of the first round of awards here.

    The California Department of Housing and Urban Development is amending the NOFA for the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV1) Response Round 1 (CDBG-CV1) to extend the application deadline for jurisdictions contemplating the use of federal funds for properties purchased with Project Homekey funds from September 21, 2020 to February 1, 2021.

    City officials in the Bay Area promised to stop sweeping homeless encampments during the pandemic, but some cities, including San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco, have repeatedly dismantled camps.

    California state housing officials released an interactive website for tenants and landlords to understand their rights under the new coronavirus anti-eviction rules enacted in the Tenant Relief Act of 2020.

    Updated on September 22, 2020


    The Los Angeles City Council decided September 9 to allocate up to $97 million in CARES Act funding for rapid rehousing but is authorizing only $30 million at this point. The council decided to refrain from authorizing most of the funds until the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority demonstrates progress in housing people with the money. 

    The Los Angeles Times reports that advocates are concerned over the rise in deaths of people experiencing homelessness in Orange County. According to the coroner’s office, 146 people experiencing homelessness died between April and August. During the same period last year, there were 82 deaths. 

    The Los Angeles Times editorial board urges city officials to continue protecting people experiencing homelessness from the coronavirus by focusing on permanent housing and non-congregate shelters. The editorial board urges city officials to follow CDC guidance and refrain from sweeping encampments. 

    The city of Los Angeles installed permanent hand-washing stations in Skid Row and North Hollywood. 

    The Ventura County Star reports the Vagabond Inn in Oxnard is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey. If approved, the inn could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 county residents currently experiencing homelessness. Ventura County received a notice of a conditional award of approximately $9.5 million from Project Homekey. The county will also contribute $3.5 million of its own federal coronavirus relief funds. 

    Updated on September 15, 2020


    The Los Angeles Times reports that new federal and state protections could protect struggling tenants, at least through the end of the year. Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration announced on September 2 a new informational campaign and website called “Housing Is Key,” which informs tenants and landlords of their rights under California’s new program. 

    California lawmakers passed and Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3088, the “COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020.” Under the legislation, no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021, due to nonpayment of rent due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4-August 31. For a pandemic related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020-January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25% of rent due to avoid eviction. Read a summary of the bill here

    Some tenant advocates are concerned the complex regulations will not protect the most vulnerable renters, while some landlords believe the measure will not help small property owners. Governor Newsom acknowledged California will need more assistance to address the economic instability, and possible mass displacement, faced by renters. 

    Updated on September 10, 2020


    HuffPost reports that the combination of California’s wildfires and the pandemic is putting thousands of people experiencing homelessness at risk for respiratory issues. “Our homeless residents are breathing ash right now,” one advocate said of the unhealthy air affecting unhoused people already at heightened risk for COVID-19.

    The Los Angeles Times editorial board questions why state leaders have taken a “shockingly lackadaisical attitude” toward the impending eviction crisis. California’s eviction moratorium is set to expire in less than a week, and state leaders have not acted to prevent an eviction tsunami.

    California’s eviction moratorium is set to expire September 1, allowing all eviction cases to move forward September 2. With as many 5.4 million California renters at risk of eviction, advocates are urging the state Senate to enact a new eviction moratorium by approving Assembly Bill 1436. In Orange County, 570 new eviction cases were filed from April 6 through July 31. At least 1,122 additional eviction cases were filed in Los Angeles County from April through June.

    Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously August 25 to extend the county’s eviction moratorium through at least September 30. The extension comes weeks after a recent analysis predicted 43,490 renter households in Santa Clara County could lose their homes if the moratorium was lifted.

    Updated on September 2, 2020.


    Mercury News reports that funding for Project Homekey falls far short of the overwhelming need. Cities, counties, and organizations in the Bay Area submitted 29 applications seeking $324 million from Project Homekey. California, however, has set aside just $100 million for the nine-county region, meaning that local projects will receive less than a third of what they need.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that California lawmakers on August 20 declined to support a plan that would have provided tax credits for landlords while sending a separate proposal that would protect tenants back to Governor Gavin Newsom for additional negotiations. Senators moved forward Assembly Bill 1436, which would prohibit evictions for up to a year.

    Approximately 30 lawyers and organizers gathered outside the state building in San Francisco to demand that the state Judicial Council extend Emergency Rule 1, which prevents evictions, and is set to expire on September 1. The attorneys argued that reopening the courts is a public health risk and would put seniors and low-income people facing eviction disproportionately at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

    Capital Public Radio reports on California’s looming eviction crisis as the statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire September 1. Assembly Bill 1436, which would ban evictions across California until 90 days after the current state of emergency is lifted, passed the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee on August 18. “If we don’t change state law in the next two weeks, we will see a massive wave of evictions,” said Assemblyman David Chiu at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. “This will be catastrophic for tenants, landlords, homeowners, and COVID-19 spread.”

    BuzzFeed News reports that more than one million Californians have yet to receive unemployment benefits. California is poised to resume evictions on September 1, putting approximately 30,000 Californians who are unable to work or collect unemployment benefits at risk of eviction.

    The Bakersfield City Council voted on August 12 to allocate $5 million in CARES Act funding to establish a rental assistance program. According to the Housing Authority of the County of Kern, the program is anticipated to help at least 1,000 households. 

    The application for the Los Angeles County COVID-19 Rent Relief Program opened Monday, August 17. The $100 million program is expected to assist 8,000-9,000 households.

    The Escondido City Council unanimously voted to extend the city’s eviction moratorium through September 30. San Diego, Imperial Beach, and National City also have banned evictions through September 30.

    Faith in the Valley released two reports that examine the patterns and impacts of evictions, which contribute to the larger housing insecurity crises, in Kern County and San Joaquin County. The reports highlight the pandemic’s impact on evictions and outline actions city, county, and state officials must take to protect vulnerable tenants.

    Updated on August 25, 2020.


    The Los Angeles Times reports on the 1.6 million farmworkers in California without legal status , many of whom are at risk of homelessness and have the least access to assistance. Many migrant farmworkers across California may be uncertain of their rights and hesitant to fight illegal evictions.

    The Judicial Council of California voted 19-1 on August 13 to end the statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures on September 1. “The judicial branch cannot usurp the responsibility of the other two branches on a long-term basis to deal with the myriad impacts of the pandemic,” Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said in a statement.

    The LA County COVID-19 Rent Relief program will begin accepting applications on August 17. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved $100 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to assist renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The California Department of Housing and Community Development recently released frequently asked questions for the Project Homekey Notice of Funding Availability

    report by Working Partnerships USA and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley found that an estimated 43,490 renter households in Santa Clara County are at high risk of eviction, threatening to increase the county’s homeless population by as much as 225%. The impending eviction crisis is “hardly inevitable,” reports Palo Alto Online.

    More than 1,600 California households have been evicted since Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide state of emergency on March 4, according to data that CalMatters obtained. Nearly a third of those evictions occurred after Governor Newsom’s March 19 shelter-in-place order, and more than 400 took place since Newsom issued an eviction moratorium on March 27.

    California is rapidly approaching what has been dubbed the “eviction cliff,” or the point where true protection from being evicted during the pandemic will fall away, at least for a short time. If that happens, as many as 1 million families across the state — some 365,000 in Los Angeles County alone — could find themselves at risk of being forced out of their homes, perhaps as soon as September.

    Updated on August 19, 2020.


    The California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council released a “Guide to Strategic Uses of Key State and Federal Funds to Reduce Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” You can access the guide here.

    The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley estimates that nearly three-quarters of the 903,000 renter households impacted by COVID-related job losses in California are households of color – meaning that the household includes at least one Black, Latinx, Asian, or other person of color.

    The San Francisco Chronicle reports on several bills moving through the California legislature that would prevent a looming eviction crisis. The legislature, however, has less than a month left in its pandemic-shortened session to address the impending surge of evictions. 

    State Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and a group of public health officials expressed concern about a potential wave of evictions across the state and called for continued emergency protections for renters.

    San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charles Haines upheld Supervisor Dean Preston’s ordinance blocking COVID-19-related evictions for nonpayment of rent during the pandemic.

    Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese is calling on the federal government to provide robust resources and urging county officials to take steps to prevent a surge of evictions. Cortese is working on a plan that would enable tenants and landlords to develop repayment plans before they become legal disputes.

    The Los Angeles Times editorial board urges Governor Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to enact strong tenant protections before the Judicial Council ends the statewide eviction moratorium.

    The Napa County Board of Supervisors extended its eviction moratorium until September 30. The county recently surveyed approximately 240 tenants and found that, together, they owed $180,000 in back rent.

    Updated on August 11, 2020.


    Despite state and federal eviction protections, some California tenants have faced increasingly aggressive eviction tactics over the last month. The state’s judiciary council announced that it is considering rescinding its eviction ban. Advocates continue to urge officials to intervene to prevent hundreds of thousands of California renters from being evicted.

    San Francisco Mayor London Breed extended the city’s eviction moratorium through August 31.

    As its eviction moratorium ends, San Diego County faces a looming eviction crisis. The Legal Aid Society of San Diego warns that the $15.1 million of CARES Act funds that the San Diego City Council allocated to emergency rental assistance in June is insufficient to meet the needs of San Diego’s renters. 

    Approximately 365,000 Los Angeles households could be at risk of eviction if California’s eviction moratorium expires next month. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye announced on July 24 that the Council will soon consider rescinding the current tenant protections put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decree could expire as soon as August 14.

    Updated on August 4, 2020.


    San Francisco Mayor London Breed on July 21 announced a plan to fund the Homelessness Recovery Plan to help the city create more housing and shelter for people experiencing homelessness. The investments will make 6,000 additional placements available through Coordinated Entry, including 4,500 placements in Permanent Supportive Housing. The plan will include placements to ensure that residents who have been temporarily residing in hotels during the pandemic are not forced back on the streets.

    The Los Angeles Times reported that the plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing San Diego officials of failing to adequately protect people experiencing homelessness with disabilities during the pandemic have amended their lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses the city of pushing people experiencing homelessness into the Convention Center shelter instead of hotel rooms. “By expending taxpayer funds on a congregate setting, instead of non-congregate settings, the city knew that it was effectively excluding homeless individuals with disabilities, who rely on the city’s homeless programs, from accessing shelter and services during the COVID-19 pandemic and/or placing them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19,” the amended complaint alleges.

    City Lab examined how residential overcrowding is driving the high rates of COVID-19 among Latinos in San Francisco’s gentrified Mission District.

    According to a new study, tens of thousands of households in Santa Clara County could become homeless in the next if policymakers do not enact robust renter protections.

    Santa Barbara County is shifting its focus from people experiencing homelessness into hotel rooms amid the pandemic to helping them make the transition directly to permanent housing.

    Updated on July 28, 2020.


    The Los Angeles Times reports new state testing guidelines that place people experiencing homelessness into “Tier 2,” second in the line of testing priority, only behind hospital patients with COVID symptoms, healthcare workers, and people with known COVID-positive contacts. 

    The Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative plan to lease hotel space to temporarily house people experiencing homelessness has been postponed due to negative feedback from both community residents and business owners.

    Updated on July 20, 2020.


    San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on July 9 that the city will move 200 residents who have been temporarily residing in hotels during the pandemic into long-term homes by the end of the year through a Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool. The “Flex Pool” is a housing strategy that matches people experiencing homelessness to vacant private market apartments and provides supportive services. The first 18 months of Flex Pool operations will be funded through philanthropic dollars.

    The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the rise of homelessness in the Bay Area suburbs over the last several years. The coronavirus pandemic, which is expected to push more people into poverty, will make the homelessness crisis that is already impacting the suburbs more visible.

    The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed an individual who has become recently homeless at age 77, highlighting the dangers facing seniors experiencing homelessness. Bureaucracy is preventing thousands of people experiencing homelessness, particularly the elderly, from accessing hotel rooms during the pandemic. 

    The Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on June 30 to enter into a $24.5 million, six-month contract with five hotels to provide temporary shelter to people experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for the coronavirus or have underlying medical conditions. The county’s contract with Day Hotel is one of our four that includes an option for the county to purchase the building in the coming months.

    The San Francisco Chronicle discusses the challenges facing a family of seven that is on the brink of homelessness and trying to survive the economic devastating of the pandemic. Without significant federal intervention, the Bay Area’s already dire homeless crisis will worsen.

    Governor Gavin Newsom announced on June 30 Project Homekey, the next phase of California’s COVID-19 response. Under the $1.3 billion Project Homekey program, counties will partner with the state to acquire and rehabilitate hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other housing types to housing people experiencing homelessness. 

    Activists in the Bay Area report that many people experiencing homelessness are falling through the cracks in California’s Project Roomkey, forcing local groups to step in and provide shelter where government efforts have fallen short.

    Ventura County’s 211 hotline has seen an increase in calls for housing assistance and from people who report being at-risk of homelessness during the pandemic. Even before COVID-19, demand for affordable homes and housing assistance far exceeded the county’s supply. 

    According to officials, El Dorado County has housed approximately 40 people experiencing homelessness in two hotels under Project Roomkey. The program is set to run through July, but there is a chance that it could be extended through August. A member of the county’s COVID-19 homeless community response team said that the county’s experience with Project Roomkey will help it develop a more comprehensive strategy to end homelessness.

    The Californian examined how the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the housing challenges of low-income families in Salinas.

    After reporting nine cases of COVID-19 on June 27, the Modesto Gospel Mission reported on July 3 that the outbreak among their residents and staff members has reached 22 cases. According to the executive director, 18 residents and four staff members have tested positive.

    Updated on July 13, 2020.


    Governor Gavin Newsom announced on June 30 Project Homekey, the next phase of California’s COVID-19 response. Under the $1.3 billion Project Homekey program, counties will partner with the state to acquire and rehabilitate hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other housing types to housing people experiencing homelessness.

    Activists in the Bay Area report that many people experiencing homelessness are falling through the cracks in California’s Project Roomkey, forcing local groups to step in and provide shelter where government efforts have fallen short.

    After reporting nine cases of COVID-19 on June 27, the Modesto Gospel Mission reported on July 3 that the outbreak among their residents and staff members has reached 22 cases. According to the executive director, 18 residents and four staff members have tested positive.

    Governor Gavin Newsom announced at a press conference on June 30 that California has acquired 15,679 hotel and motel rooms and moved approximately 14,200 people experiencing homelessness into the rooms.

    California legislators are working to push through a wide range of bills aimed at addressing homelessness and housing insecurity. For example, Assembly Bill 3269 would mandate state and local governments to develop plans to reduce homelessness by 90% within eight years. However, the state budget, which has been significantly impacted by the pandemic, will be the biggest barrier to passing legislation that would address homelessness.

    While it’s unclear whether pandemic-related releases from state prisons have exacerbated California’s homeless crisis, El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson warns that it’s only a matter of time until this occurs.

    Updated on July 7, 2020.


    The Mercury News discusses how the coronavirus pandemic could exacerbate Black Californians’ housing crisis. Black households are disproportionately more likely to be cost burdened, and tenants’ rights groups fear that a wave of evictions is on the horizon.

    Updated on June 29, 2020.


    The Los Angeles Times reports that some landlords are still trying to evict tenants by cutting off their utilities, locking them out of their homes, and deploying other illegal tactics.

    Housing advocates are concerned that without rent relief, Oakland will experience a post-pandemic homelessness boom after the eviction moratorium expires on August 31.

    The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously approved a plan to allocate 70% of its CARES Act funding for emergency rental assistance and 30% to provide social services. The city plans to distribute the funds through a community organization.

    A federal judge approved an agreement in which the city and county of Los Angeles will provide housing for nearly 7,000 people experiencing homelessness who live near freeways and those over 65 or vulnerable to the coronavirus. Los Angeles County will spend $300 million over five years to provide services, and the city will provide 6,000 new beds within ten months and an additional 700 beds over 18 months.

    The city of Santa Rosa’s plans to remove up to 60 people living in encampments on underpasses of Highway 101 will begin only after Sonoma County health officials conduct coronavirus testing after the virus recently infiltrated the encampments.

    The National Health Foundation is partnering with Project Roomkey to provide temporary housing and support services to people experiencing homelessness who suffer from medical conditions. The residents receive medical care, medications, meals, and case management to help them find permanent housing.

    A makeshift trailer park to provide shelter to seniors experiencing homelessness in San Jose is being dismantled just one month after being opened. A San Jose Housing Department official said that accessibility issues and recurring sewage and electrical emergencies made the project difficult, and that the city decided that housing elderly adults experiencing homelessness in hotels was a better option.

    Contra Costa County officials hope that several of the six hotels and motels the county has leased to provide temporary shelter to people experiencing homelessness will eventually be purchased for permanent housing. While it would be more efficient to purchase existing buildings for permanent housing rather than construct new facilities, an official said that there is no funding mechanism for purchases of the lease sites.

    The San Diego Housing Authority unanimously voted on June 16 to approve the San Diego Housing Commission’s fiscal year 2021 budget, which includes $19 million to purchase hotels and $10 million to house people experiencing homelessness in those properties.

    San Francisco reached a deal with the group of Tenderloin residents and business owners that sued the city in federal court last month. The settlement requires San Francisco to remove 70% of the tents crowding Tenderloin’s sidewalks in just over a month and to provide temporary housing to the people residing in the tents in vacant hotel rooms or sanctioned encampments. 

    Homeful Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is partnering with the Pfizer Foundation and the state of California to provide RV trailers for families experiencing homelessness in three counties throughout California.

    Updated on June 22, 2020.


    California’s Department of Housing and Community Development released Notices of Funding Availability for $61 million in federal CARES Act funding through the Emergency Solutions Grants program and the Community Development Block Grant program.

    The Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved spending $23.3 million in state and federal COVID-19 funding to purchase Oakland’s former Lake Merritt Lodge to transform it into a shelter for medically vulnerable people experiencing homelessness. Local advocates are devising strategies for turning COVID-19 emergency measures into programs that help people experiencing homelessness beyond the pandemic. 

    LAist discusses advocates’ concerns about what will happen to the 9,400 people experiencing homeless who are temporarily residing in hotel rooms acquired as part of Project Roomkey after the hotel contracts expire. 

    Nevada County’s housing resource manager said that the county has placed more than 60 people experiencing homelessness in local motels since March 18, using funds from pre-existing programs and California’s Project Roomkey initiative.

    The Gospel Center Rescue Mission has quickly transformed a home in Stockton that was originally purchased as additional housing for people experiencing homelessness into an eight-bed, temporary facility for men experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

    The North Westwood Neighborhood Council urged the city and state to increase efforts to shelter people experiencing homelessness in hotels and motels. The council believes that Project Roomkey is moving too slowly, and that Los Angeles should take steps to expedite the room-securing process.

    Updated on June 12, 2020.


    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.

    Los Angeles

    More than 150,000 people applied for the Los Angeles COVID-19 rent assistance program on July 13. The $103 million rent relief program is only anticipated to assist approximately 50,000 applicants.

    Updated on July 20, 2020.


    The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released its full COVID-19 Recovery Plan for people experiencing homelessness on June 23. The plan outlines an ambitious goal to rapidly move 15,000 high-risk people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing, including the 4,000 people who were provided temporary shelter through Project Roomkey. The program will cost $800 million, which includes approximately $600 million in new funding over the next three years and $200 million in costs that were already budgeted in the homeless service system. 

    The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles County’s plan to lease hotel and motel rooms for 15,000 people experiencing homelessness is falling short of its goal. Officials have secured only 3,601 rooms - a fourth of the number needed to shelter all those who are eligible. 

    The Los Angeles City Council on June 23 approved a $100 million rent relief program, The program, funded through California’s allocation of federal CARES Act dollars, is expected to help nearly 50,000 families who have been impacted by COVID-19.

    An editorial in the Los Angeles Times argues that while Los Angeles County’s $100 million rental assistance fund is an important first step, state legislators should take action on a proposed statewide rent relief plan and Congress must invest significant resources to ensure that the pandemic’s economic fallout does not devastate landlords, renters, and the housing market. 

    Updated on June 29, 2020.


    The number of people experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles County increased 12.7% over the past year to more than 66,400, and there is significant concern that the figure will rise again due to COVID-19.

    The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles filed a federal lawsuit against the city on June 11, arguing that the city’s efforts to prevent evictions for tenants who cannot pay rent due to the pandemic violate landlords’ Fifth Amendment rights against government taking of their property without compensation. 

    An article in the Los Angeles Times discusses how the curfews put in place due to the protests over police brutality have created additional challenges for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Although Los Angeles County’s notice exempted people experiencing homelessness from the curfew, alerts about the curfews provided contradictory and confusing information.

    new report released by the UCLA Luskin Center warns that evictions and homelessness will rise precipitously once COVID-19 protections are lifted. The study estimates that at least 365,000 households in Los Angeles are likely to be unable to pay their rent due to loss of income and no access to income assistance like unemployment insurance.

    Updated on June 12, 2020.


    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.

    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

    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.

    San Francisco

    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a COVID-19-related eviction ban on June 9. The legislation, which passed 10-1, will permanently bar landlords from evicting tenants if they cannot pay rent due to pandemic-related issues. NextCity also reported on San Francisco’s legislation.

    Hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco received COVID-19 testing this weekend as part of the University of California, San Francisco’s widespread testing effort.

    Updated on June 12, 2020.


    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.

    Santa Fe

    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

    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

    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.

    Oakland

    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


    The State of California has published their recommended protocol and strategic approaches for COVID-19 response for individuals experiencing homelessness.

    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.

    Alameda County has released both COVID-19 street outreach and homeless shelter health guidance for the area. Vast resources for both are listed.

    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.

    Long Beach

    Long Beach will begin accepting applications for its $5 million rental assistance program on July 13. The Long Beach Emergency Rental Assistance (LB CARES) program is funded through federal Community Development Block Grants.

    Updated on June 29, 2020.

    Article TitleLink

    Editorial: Seven steps California can take to prevent a coronavirus housing and homelessness disaster

    LA Times
    Nowhere to Shelter in PlaceRecordnet
    Speak your piece: Congress needs to act on looming eviction crisisRecord Searchlight

    Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.


    report by Working Partnerships USA and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley found that an estimated 43,490 renter households in Santa Clara County are at high risk of eviction, threatening to increase the county’s homeless population by as much as 225%. The impending eviction crisis is “hardly inevitable,” reports Palo Alto OnlineMore than 1,600 California households have been evicted since Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide state of emergency on March 4, according to data that CalMatters obtained. Nearly a third of those evictions occurred after Governor Newsom’s March 19 shelter-in-place order, and more than 400 took place since Newsom issued an eviction moratorium on March 27. BuzzFeed News reports that more than one million Californians have yet to receive unemployment benefits. California is poised to resume evictions on September 1, putting approximately 30,000 Californians who are unable to work or collect unemployment benefits at risk of eviction.

    Updated on August 28, 2020.


    California is rapidly approaching what has been dubbed the “eviction cliff,” or the point where true protection from being evicted during the pandemic will fall away, at least for a short time. If that happens, as many as 1 million families across the state — some 365,000 in Los Angeles County alone — could find themselves at risk of being forced out of their homes, perhaps as soon as September.

    Updated: August 12


    The only uniform statewide protection against evictions comes from the California Judicial Council, which has frozen all eviction proceedings since April 6. Evictions can still be filed, but no hearings are taking place and no judgments being issued (except for in emergency cases). The Chief Justice originally stated these protections would extend until 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted. Though the state of emergency is still in place, the Chief Justice announced on July 24 that the council will vote on whether to lift these protections soon, potentially allowing for eviction proceedings to begin as early August 14. Chief Justice's original reasoning for their intervention was to give the Governor and state legislature time to come up with their own policies. In June, she had announced that the council would consider repealing its order but rescinded the proposal to give the governor and legislature more time.  Though legislation regarding a statewide eviction moratorium has been proposed, none have been agreed upon. In response to the Governor's executive order, about one-third of local governments in California have issued some sort of eviction protections, most of which require proof of COVID-19 related hardship. Many have expired. 

    Updated: August 1


    In the third week of July, 29.5% of adults in California reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 1,554,278 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment

    The Judicial Council of California was the only entity to provide statewide protections against evictions, halting them unilaterally since April. But on July 24, the Supreme Court Chief Justice announced they would soon vote on whether to continue the order, potentially lifting it as early as August 14

    LA County

    Over 200,000 households in LA County applied for a rental assistance program intended to serve 50,000. 

    July 24

    Oakland

    Housing advocates in Oakland estimate 10,000-20,000 residents are currently at risk of eviction due to COVID-19.  

    July 22

    Santa Clara County 43,000+ households in Santa Clara County are at risk of eviction, which is sixteen times more than the county sees in a typical year. Those at risk are disproportionately people of color, women, and families with children--many at risk of eviction are low-wage workers who are employed by the wealthy tech giants that give Silicon Valley its name.  July 25

    Updated: July 29


    Thousands of California families are doubling up. And if they aren't able to stay where they are, they’re going to be forced out onto the streets. According to a weekly survey by the Census, 27% of adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.

    LA County

    A recent UCLA study found that about 365,000 renter households in the county are in imminent danger of eviction once the Judicial Council moratorium on eviction filings is lifted. The study also found that 120,000 of those households would likely become homeless soon after eviction. 

    June 24

    Oakland

    Landlords are using intimidation and lockouts to attempt to illegally evict tenants. 

    June 29

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    New State and Local Resources

    Los Angeles County Department of Public Health


    National Media

    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