Connect with us

California

Newsom announces $116.3 million for new homeless housing

Seven new Homekey projects will provide 387 housing units. Additional Homekey awards will be announced in the coming weeks

Published

on

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced more than $116 million in funding for seven Homekey projects across the state. The seven new projects will provide 387 housing units for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Since the Governor announced a $2.75 billion extension of Homekey in September 2021, the state has awarded $470 million to 23 projects that, when completed, will create more than 1,700 housing units for Californians most in need of a safe place to call home. When combined with the original Homekey program from 2020, the Governor’s nation-leading initiative has provided $1.3 billion for 7,700 new homeless housing units.

“Our historic response towards homelessness has housed thousands of individuals at an unprecedented rate since the start of the pandemic,” said Governor Newsom. “Today’s announcement will bring 387 housing units for those most in need of a home, offering several essential supportive services with easy access to public transportation.”

“California is making deep investments that continue to reap benefits for thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “We are grateful to the many communities that are continuing to leverage Homekey dollars as they work with care and speed to provide affordable, dignified places for people without a place to call home.”

“You can’t have a strong economy without strong, stable, healthy communities where people can live, care for their families, get education and benefit from transportation and all the health and social amenities that come along with it,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez. “Homekey projects don’t just pop up overnight – it takes a coordinated effort between the state and local jurisdictions to focus on the greater good of providing housing for those most in need.”

Today’s awards include the following projects:

  • The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has been awarded nearly $37 million for the acquisition of multifamily rental housing projects located near off-site amenities including public transportation. When construction is completed, this project will offer 126 units of permanent housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Supportive services include intensive case management services, linkages to behavioral and physical health services, assistance obtaining benefits and essential documentation, and educational and employment services emphasizing Housing First principles, trauma informed care and operate according to harm reduction models.
  • The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has also been awarded more than $10.5 million for the acquisition of a newly constructed apartment building located near off-site amenities including a transit station. This project will offer 34 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. On-site supportive services include client-centric individualized case management such as income support, linkages and access to physical and behavioral health services, substance abuse treatment and eviction prevention.
  • The City of Salinas has been awarded more than $13.2 million to acquire a former hotel and transition it into 42 units of permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless. The project is located near off-site amenities including public transportation, two large supermarkets and a major hospital. Supportive services provided will include on-site case management, housing stability support, job readiness classes and income coaching, along with adult education classes to help clients obtain their GEDs. Tenants will have full access to community building activities such as art therapies, cooking community dinners and gardening.
  • The City of Salinas has also been awarded more than $16.3 million to acquire a former hotel and transition it into 57 units of housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness and at risk of homelessness. The project, which will start as interim housing with a plan to transition to permanent housing over time, is located near off-site amenities including public transportation and nearby grocery stores. Supportive services provided will include on-site case management, housing stability support, job readiness classes and income coaching, along with adult education classes to help clients obtain their GEDs.
  • The County of Ventura has been awarded more than $4.2 million for the acquisition of manufactured housing. When fully operational, this project will offer 12 units of interim housing for homeless youth or youth at risk of homelessness. Supportive services provided will include on-site case management, behavioral health services, physical health services, assistance obtaining benefits and essential documentation, education and employment services, and assistance with a variety of other services including legal assistance, family finding/connection, and housing retention once participants transition into permanent housing.
  • The County of Orange has been awarded $17 million to acquire a former hotel and transition it into 62 units of housing for people experiencing homelessness and chronic homelessness. The project, which will start as interim housing with a plan to transition to permanent housing over time, is located near off-site amenities including a bus/rapid transit station, full-scale grocery store, medical clinic, public library and pharmacy. Supportive services provided will include on-site case management, behavioral health services, assistance obtaining benefits and essential documentation, education and employment services, and a host of adult daily living skills groups which include housing retention/conflict resolution skills, advocacy and referrals to family reunification agencies.
  • The City of Napa has been awarded more than $18.1 million to convert a motel into 54 units of permanent housing for the homeless, homeless youth and the chronically homeless. The project is located within a half mile from off-site amenities including transportation, full-scale grocery store, health facility and pharmacy, and within a mile of youth-oriented facilities. Supportive services for all residents will include employment readiness services and educational support.

Additional Homekey awards will be announced in the coming weeks. Completed applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted or May 2, 2022, whichever comes first.

For more information, please visit the Homekey webpage.

The Department of Housing and Community Development has also created the Homekey Awards Dashboard where Californians can track Homekey project awards by dollar totals, project type, progress and region. The dashboard is updated in real time as additional projects are approved.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

California

Newsom announces water strategy for a hotter, drier California

Without action, California officials believe extreme weather could diminish the water supply by up to 10% by 2040

Published

on

Governor Newsom tours the Antioch Brackish Desalination Project (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

ANTIOCH – Hotter and drier weather conditions spurred by climate change could reduce California’s water supply by up to 10% by the year 2040. To replace and replenish what the loss to thirstier soils, vegetation, and the atmosphere, Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced California’s latest actions to increase water supply and adapt to more extreme weather patterns caused by climate change. 

Thursday’s announcement follows $8 billion in state investments over the last two years to help store, recycle, de-salt and conserve the water it will need to keep up with the increasing pace of climate change, generating enough water in the future for more than 8.4 million households by 2040.

The actions, outlined in a strategy document published by the Administration called “California’s Water Supply Strategy, Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future” calls for investing in new sources of water supply, accelerating projects and modernizing how the state manages water through new technology. 

This approach to California’s water supply management recognizes the latest science that indicates the American West is experiencing extreme, sustained drought conditions caused by hotter, drier weather. The warming climate means that a greater share of the rain and snowfall California receives will be absorbed by dry soils, consumed by thirsty plants, and evaporated into the air. This leaves less water to meet the state’s needs.

“The best science tells us that we need to act now to adapt to California’s water future. Climate change means drought won’t just stick around for two years at a time like it historically has – extreme weather is a permanent fixture here in the American West and California will adapt to this new reality,” Governor Newsom said at the Antioch Brackish Desalination Project. “California is launching an aggressive plan to rebuild the way we source, store and deliver water so our kids and grandkids can continue to call California home in this hotter, drier climate.” 

Governor Newsom tours the Antioch Brackish Desalination Project and welcomes his new Infrastructure Advisor, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

To help make up for the water supplies California could lose over the next two decades, the strategy prioritizes actions to capture, recycle, de-salt and conserve more water. These actions include:

  • Creating storage space for up to 4 million acre-feet of water, which will allow us to capitalize on big storms when they do occur and store water for dry periods
  • Recycling and reusing at least 800,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2030, enabling better and safer use of wastewater currently discharged to the ocean.
  • Freeing up 500,000 acre-feet of water through more efficient water use and conservation, helping make up for water lost due to climate change.
  • Making new water available for use by capturing stormwater and desalinating ocean water and salty water in groundwater basins, diversifying supplies and making the most of high flows during storm events.

These actions are identified broadly in the Newsom Administration’s Water Resilience Portfolio – the state’s master plan for water released in 2020 – but they will be expedited given the urgency of climate-driven changes. To advance the infrastructure and policies needed to adapt, the strategy enlists the help of the Legislature to streamline processes so projects can be planned, permitted and built more quickly, while protecting the environment.

Continue Reading

California

Newsom announces historic Supreme Court nominations 

Judge Kelli Evans will be the second openly LGBTQ+ justice to serve on the state’s high court joining Justice Martin Jenkins

Published

on

California Supreme Court building (Photo Credit: State of California Courts)

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom announced his nomination of Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero to serve as California’s next Chief Justice after Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye concludes her current term of office on January 2, 2023.

A first-generation Californian, Justice Guerrero was the first Latina to serve on the California Supreme Court and, if confirmed, will be the first Latina to serve as California’s Chief Justice.  

Justice Patricia Guerrero

“Justice Guerrero has established herself as a widely respected jurist with a formidable intellect and command of the law and deep commitment to equal justice and public service,” said Governor Newsom. “A first-generation Californian from the Imperial Valley, Justice Guerrero broke barriers as California’s first Latina Supreme Court Justice, enriching our state’s highest court with her insights and deep understanding of the real-world impacts of the Court’s decisions in the lives of everyday Californians. I thank Justice Guerrero for her willingness to step into this role and am confident that the people of California will continue to be well served by her leadership for years to come.”   

“I am humbled by this nomination to lead our state’s Supreme Court and thank the Governor for entrusting me with this honor,” said Justice Guerrero, who was sworn in to the California Supreme Court by Governor Newsom earlier this year. “If confirmed, I look forward to continuing the strides the Court has made under Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye to expand equal access to justice and create a fairer justice system for all Californians.”  

The Governor also announced his intention to appoint Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kelli Evans to serve as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Guerrero’s elevation to Chief Justice.

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Tony Hoang:

“Representation is power, and it’s critical in our collective fight for full, lived equality. Governor Newsom’s historic appointment of Judge Evans ensures that California’s highest court better reflects the diversity of our state and sends an important message to the rest of the country at a time when LGBTQ+ people, women and communities of color are under attack. Judge Evans is an outstanding, highly qualified jurist, and we are confident she will continue to uphold and advance equal justice under the law for all Californians.”

Judge Evans assumed office in 2021 as a judge of the Superior Court of Alameda County. Evans served as an Assistant Public Defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office, as an Attorney for the ACLU of Northern California and as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from.

She was Senior Director for the Administration of Justice at the California State Bar and Special Assistant to the Attorney General at the California Department of Justice. From 2019 to 2020, Evans worked as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary for Criminal Justice in the Office of Governor Newsom, where she worked as Chief Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary from 2020 to 2021.

“Throughout her career, Judge Evans has dedicated herself to helping all Californians have an equal chance at justice,” said Governor Newsom. “Raised by her grandmother in public housing, Judge Evans was inspired from a young age to find ways to help expand justice and opportunity for everyone, especially marginalized and vulnerable communities. I have seen firsthand her commitment to the highest ideals of public service, and her passion to protect and advance civil rights and liberties for all Californians. I have no doubt that her exemplary talent, wide-ranging knowledge and experience, strong moral compass, and work ethic will make her an outstanding Supreme Court Justice,” said Governor Newsom.   

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kelli Evans (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

Judge Evans will be the second openly LGBTQ+ justice to serve on the state’s high court joining Justice Martin Jenkins who was appointed October 2020.

“I am truly honored by this opportunity to serve the people of California on our state’s highest court,” said Judge Evans. “I have worked my entire career to promote equality and access to justice and to protect the rights of some of society’s most disenfranchised members. If confirmed, I look forward to furthering our state’s work to ensure equal justice under the law for all Californians.”  

“Governor Gavin Newsom has made historic appointments to the California Supreme Court in nominating Justice Patricia Guerrero to be the new Chief Justice and Judge Kelli Evans to be a Justice. These two individuals are impeccably qualified,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. “They will lead the California Supreme Court in using the California Constitution and California law to advance freedom and equality.”  

Background biographical on the Governor’s choices:

Raised in the Imperial Valley by immigrant parents from Mexico, Justice Guerrero, 50, of Coronado, served as an Associate Justice at the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One from 2017 to 2022 and has wide-ranging experience as a trial court judge, partner at a major law firm and Assistant U.S. Attorney.  

As an appellate justice at the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Justice Guerrero authored numerous opinions to protect the rights of consumers and individuals, while also ensuring that defendants’ constitutional rights are protected and that all parties, including the government, are treated fairly and consistent with the rule of law. She served as a Judge at the San Diego County Superior Court from 2013 to 2017 and was Supervising Judge for the Family Law Division at the Court in 2017. Justice Guerrero was hired as an Associate at Latham & Watkins and became a Partner in 2006. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California from 2002 to 2003. Justice Guerrero earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School. The compensation for this position is $293,286. She is a Democrat.   

“This is truly an exceptional and historic day for the people of California and for the justice system. Justice Guerrero is an outstanding choice to lead our court system. This includes chairing the work of the California Supreme Court in reviewing the landscape of thousands of legal opinions across the state and ensuring that the development of the law is consistent with the statutory and Constitutional mandates that govern our state,” said retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos R. Moreno. “Justice Guerrero’s inspiring nomination demonstrates that, regardless of humble beginnings, hard work and commitment to one’s values can lead to the fulfillment of the true American dream.”

Instilled with the importance of education by her grandmother, Judge Evans, 53, of Oakland, excelled academically and was able to attend a top-rated high school when her family moved from a public housing project to a HUD subsidized apartment. One of only a small number of students of color at the school, she managed to thrive and graduate among the top of her class while working 20 hours a week to help support her family. Judge Evans went on to attend Stanford University and earn a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law, where she received the Martin Luther King, Jr. award for exceptional public service.    

Judge Evans has served as a Judge in the Alameda County Superior Court since 2021. Prior to this appointment, she served as Chief Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, where she helped shape California’s moratorium on capital punishment and advised the Governor and executive agencies on myriad issues in administrative proceedings and in state and federal trial and appellate courts. 

Judge Evans served as Special Assistant to the Attorney General at the California Department of Justice from 2017 to 2019 and was Senior Director for the Administration of Justice at the California State Bar from 2014 to 2017. She was Associate Director of the ACLU of Northern California from 2010 to 2013, where she served as an Attorney from 1995 to 1998. She was a Partner at Independent Assessment & Monitoring LLP from 2006 to 2010 and an Associate at Relman and Associates from 2001 to 2004. Judge Evans served as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1998 to 2001 and as an Assistant Public Defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office in 1995. She has served as a member of federal court-appointed monitoring teams for the Oakland and Cleveland Police Departments.  

“Judge Kelli Evans is a brilliant choice to serve as Associate Justice on the California Supreme Court. Besides being an amazingly accomplished lawyer and judge, she has devoted her professional life – and her very heart and soul – to social justice for all and is ideally suited for service on the state’s highest court. I cannot imagine anybody better than Judge Evans to fill the vacancy,” said Kevin Johnson, Dean of the University of California, Davis School of Law.

The Governor’s nominations and appointments must be submitted to the State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

The Commission on Judicial Appointments consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Senior Presiding Justice of the state Court of Appeal Manuel Ramirez.

The nomination of Justice Guerrero as Chief Justice must also be confirmed by the voters in the November 8, 2022 general election. 

Continue Reading

California

Newsom launches nation’s largest college savings program

Published

on

Governor Gavin Newsom launches CalKIDS at the State Controller's Office (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – Starting today, all Californian families of low-income public school students – 3.4 million across the state – can now access college savings accounts created in their children’s names, with seed investments of between $500 and $1,500.

The CalKIDS program, launched by Governor Gavin Newsom, invests $1.9 billion into accounts for low-income school-age children in grades 1-12 and for newborn children born on or after July 1, 2022. 

“California is telling our students that we believe they’re college material – not only do we believe it, we’ll invest in them directly,” said Newsom. “With up to $1,500, we’re transforming lives, generating college-going mindsets, and creating generational wealth for millions of Californians.”

“I am proud and excited to finally see CalKIDS in action,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “My goal with this program was to bridge the gap between wealth inequality and the high cost of education. CalKIDS will expand access to college through savings by providing each child born in the state of California a seed deposit in a ScholarShare 529 college savings account. Furthermore, thanks to Governor Newsom’s investment and expansion of the Program to make college more accessible to low-income California kids, additional deposits will be made for low-income first graders across the state, with supplemental deposits for foster and homeless youth. Our shared vision ensures each child across the state will have an opportunity at higher education.”

FIND OUT IF YOU’RE RECEIVING MONEY BY CLICKING HERE.

Up to $1,500 for 3.4 Million School-Age Children:

  • $500 Automatic Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12.
  • $500 Additional Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12 identified as foster youth.
  • $500 Additional Deposit: Eligible low-income public school students in grades 1-12 identified as homeless.

Up to $100 for Newborn Children:

  • $25 Automatic Deposit: Every eligible child born on or after July 1, 2022.
  • $25 Additional Deposit: Those who register on the program’s online portal.
  • $50 Additional Deposit: Those who link a new or existing ScholarShare 529 account to the CalKIDS account.

Californians can begin accessing their accounts via the online portal now. In the coming months, CalKIDS will send notification letters to qualifying children and families with more information. 

To learn more, visit the CalKIDS website and FAQ.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular