Housing & Homelessness

Be Part of Positive Change for California

The Problem

California has the largest homeless population in the nation. We build only a fraction of the affordable housing residents need. And the COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact is likely to worsen the problem.

Californians make up 12% of the total U.S. population but

of its homeless population
of its unsheltered homeless.

Local governments have issued permits to build less than one-fifth of the housing low-income Californians need.

The Consequences

The lack of access to affordable housing affects quality of life, education, and health for Californians.

1.6 MILLION renter households spend more than half their income on housing. California ranks WORST in the nation in renter overcrowding.

Youth experiencing homelessness are TWICE AS LIKELY as their classmates to:

  • Be suspended.
  • Be chronically absent.
  • Drop out.
  • Not graduate.

High housing costs can lead to frequent moves or force families to live in UNHEALTHY SUBSTANDARD housing. Homeless individuals experience chronic pain, high rates of premature mortality, and higher risk of communicable disease.

The Causes

Through multiple reports, we found Californians struggle to access and maintain housing because:

State leaders have not coordinated resources and strategies across the many different agencies fighting homelessness and the lack of affordable housing.

The State has not required local entities to reduce barriers to affordable housing and follow best practices to end homelessness.

The State has not tracked funding and outcomes for homeless and housing programs so that it can target billions of dollars annually to programs that best meet the greatest needs.

The Solutions

The Legislature CAN ACT to better shelter and house all Californians. Specifically, we recommend changes to:

COORDINATE agencies' efforts by regularly updating state homeless and housing plans.

INCREASE ACCOUNTABILITY by strengthening state requirements for and oversight of local entities' homeless and housing efforts.

TRACK FUNDS & OUTCOMES to inform decisions on homeless and housing programs and policy.

How Can You Get Involved?

FOLLOW THE PROGRESS of legislation that could implement our recommendations.

See what bills we're tracking.