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New California Bill Would Prevent Homelessness Among Older Adults and People with Disabilities

On Friday February 18, 2022, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, Chair of the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, introduced AB 2547, the Housing Stabilization to Prevent and End Homelessness Among Older Adults and People with Disabilities Act as part of a package of bills to support older Californians and people with disabilities. This legislation advances the Master Plan for Aging goal of preventing and ending homelessness among older adults. Justice in Aging, LeadingAge California, Corporation for Supportive Housing, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities and United Way of Greater LA are co-sponsors of the bill.

The bill would enable an estimated 25,000 extremely low-income older adults and people with disabilities who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness to afford housing on the rental market. Over 50% of older adults in a recent survey said that an additional $300/month would be enough to make a difference in their ability to stay housed.

“Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the population experiencing homelessness in California. Decades of unfair housing policies and discrimination put Black older adults at 3-4 times the risk of becoming homeless than white older adults. If the state doesn’t take action, homelessness among those 65 and up in California is set to triple between 2017 and 2030.”—Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director, Justice in Aging.

“The continued scarcity of affordable housing, combined with housing discrimination and an inadequate basic income, present major barriers to obtaining and maintaining stable housing, especially for Black Older Adults. Our solutions must confront ageism, racism, ableism, and deep poverty.”- Dr. Yelba Carrillo, Sr. Manager Homeless Systems Change, United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

“We want the same thing everyone else wants,” said Wesley Witherspoon, the Chair of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. “We want to live in a neighborhood that is safe. We want a place we can afford. So many of us live with our families, but our families are getting older. So many of us don’t have jobs. So many of us are so close to being homeless. It’s a big problem. We need AB 2457 for housing security, especially when the cost of housing keeps growing.”

What the bill would do:

  • Establish a multi-year Rent Stabilization Fund to provide a mix of shallow and deep subsidies to help older adults and people with disabilities afford fair market rate rent
  • Encourage the Department of Aging to fund and work with a variety of community-based organizations who provide housing and services to older adults and people with disabilities

Who Would be Eligible for Assistance:

Adults 50 and older and people with disabilities who are:

  • experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness;
  • Extremely low income (20% or below of Area Median Income) and
  • Paying more than 50% of their income for rent, or currently unhoused.

Justice in Aging and its partners will be working with the Legislature and the Governor’s office to ensure that California invests in this highly effective homeless prevention strategy.

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