Bay Area leaders plan to reduce homelessness by 75% in 3 years

KRON, April 13, 2021

By Dan Thorn

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Bay Area leaders have revealed a plan to reduce homelessness by 75% in just three years.

The ambitious goal was put forth Tuesday by officials for all Bay Area counties.

These leaders are calling this a “regional action plan.” They’re aiming to provide new housing for people who are currently homeless and reducing the number of people who are becoming homeless.

The first focus will be on extremely low-income residents with racial equity at the center of the effort.

It’s no secret the Bay Area has been dealing with a homelessness crisis. 2019 data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows more than 35,000 people across the region are living on the street.

Local and state leaders aim to drop that number down to 10,000 by 2024.

“This crisis has persisted way too long where we believe, many in our communities believe that we cannot end this problem,” Tomiquia Moss said.

Tomiquia Moss is the founder and CEO of All Home — a non-profit working to end homelessness in the Bay Area.

The organization convened the regional action plan, also known as rap.

The strategy focuses on two main parts: creating more housing and stopping people from becoming homeless.

Extremely low income residents and racial equity is at the forefront.

“Centering racial equity at the center of this plan was not a choice; it is how the work needs to be done. We need to get comfortable and familiar with prioritizing folks who are most impacted by this homelessness crisis,” Moss said.

Much of this involves more money in the form of sped-up cash payments and rental assistance for people affected by COVID-19.

To address racial issues, the coalition is calling on the state to measure equity levels, observe progress and tie funding to progress.

“Rap” is also aiming to get more people in interim or permanent housing using a 1-2-4 framework, meaning for every one unit of interim housing built it should be followed by two units of permanent housing and four units of homeless prevention interventions to keep people housed.

That ratio according to “All Home” is what’s necessary in the Bay Area.

“It’s important to note the ratio is not a one size fits all and it will vary from county to county. For example, the homelessness population in Napa is different from San Francisco which is different from San Mateo,” Ken Kirkey said.

Leaders acknowledged these ideas to tackle homelessness are not new but organizing together is new and it can help to address how funding is used.

“What we’re really talking about is rethinking the way we live together,” Cindy Chavez said.

One of the looming issues right now is the state’s eviction moratorium which is set to expire on June 30th — They’re hoping it can be extended for at least another 60 days.

This coalition is made up of leaders in all 9 Bay Area counties along with corporate partners such as Facebook and Salesforce.

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