Subscribe Donate

Tag: AB 1487

Home | Newsroom |

JOINT STATEMENT: Bill Sponsors for Homelessness Prevention Fund Disappointed with Governor Newsom’s Veto, Resolved to Pass Through Budget Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

With strong votes in the legislature and the Governor’s general support, tenant advocates will continue to push for a legal defense fund for tenants experiencing eviction.  

As sponsors of AB 1487, we are disappointed that the Governor has vetoed the bill, which would establish a Homelessness Prevention Fund at the state level. The lack of legal representation for California tenants experiencing eviction is a fundamental fuel for economic and racial inequality. If the state is truly interested in achieving equity, there is no other option but to address this need, which was a problem well before the pandemic. However, we recognize that the reason for the veto was the lack of a specific budget appropriation, and we are glad the Governor’s message recognizes the importance of delivering eviction prevention services to struggling tenants in the most effective, efficient, and successful way possible.

AB 1487 recognizes the need to take a preventative approach to evictions and acknowledges the need for tenants to be represented by counsel. We look forward to continuing our efforts to build on lessons learned in delivering eviction prevention services, and to ensure that state resources dedicated to this purpose are delivered with a recognition of the needs and lived experience of struggling renters. We are proud to have advanced AB 1487 through both houses of the legislature with a strong endorsement of the policy and the ongoing need it seeks to address, and we thank Assembly member Gabriel for his strong leadership in authoring this bill.

The need for increased resources and enhanced delivery of services in preventing avoidable evictions is long-standing, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it especially clear. The eviction process in California and the protections our state has chosen to put in place for tenants are complex, operate on very short timelines, and have extreme consequences for those forced to navigate them without assistance. While landlords overwhelmingly have the benefit of an attorney in evictions, the vast majority of tenants do not, forcing them to do their best to assert their rights, respond to court documents, and participate in the process on their own. 

This situation pre-dates the pandemic, and the need to address the dynamic is made clearer by the reality that millions of tenants who are behind on rent, through no fault of their own, are currently navigating a complex set of court protections and doing their best to apply for rental assistance at the same time. Outreach and education, coupled with legal assistance when problems arise, is incredibly important as millions of tenants navigate these unnecessarily complex systems or face the prospect of homelessness. 

Measures like AB 1487 are preventative medicine for California’s housing crisis, and we must recognize that the best way to prevent evictions is to utilize the strength of community-based outreach organizations, legal service providers, and local governments so tenants and landlords are aware of their rights and responsibilities and can successfully resolve issues before they lead to eviction. 

We need a permanent solution to ensure every Californian has the resources and support they need to remain housed and prevent homelessness as they navigate the complex eviction system. AB 1487 would ensure that the protections California’s Legislature and administration put in place translate to real, enforceable rights. We look forward to working with the Legislature and Governor in the coming year to make sure renters across the state can successfully assert their rights, and that California communities benefit from the increased housing security and stability a Homelessness Prevention Fund can provide.

Thank you to the many coalition partners and allies across the state that led and contributed to this campaign. Over 80 organizations endorsed the bill.  

 

Press‌ ‌Contact:‌ ‌ ‌Sasha Harnden,‌ ‌Public Policy Advocate,‌ ‌Inner City Law Center,‌ aharnden[at]innercitylaw.org – (habla español)

EPIC News – September 2021


Accessing Health Care in a Disaster

September is National Preparedness Month, so Western Center’s health team created a resource to help Californians access health care during a disaster, and condensed it into a blog post. Survivors of disaster have a right to health care when, where, and how they need it – unfortunately, they might have to fight for it. We recommend reading the full resource for detailed information about special rights and remedies available to survivors seeking prescription drugs, medical supplies and equipment, physician and specialist care, eligibility and coverage, health plan enrollment changes and more.


Awaiting the Governor’s Signature

The California Legislature is out of session – now we have until October 10th for the governor to sign our bills to make them law. We will provide a full roundup of our 2021 legislative efforts after things settle next month. In the meantime, here are a few priorities we are working hard to get the governor to sign:

  • AB 1020 – Health Care Debt and Fair Billing: Ensures Californians don’t need a lawyer to get financial assistance for hospital bills, and that more people are eligible for help with medical debt, which is the largest source of debt collection in the U.S. and disproportionately impacts people of color.
  • AB 1461 – Benefits for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), and Asylum Applicants: To offer access to critical state and local services for non-citizen survivors of domestic violence and parental mistreatment, children who are abandoned or neglected, and people who fear persecution.
  • AB 1487 – Homelessness Prevention Fund: Helps California tenants access legal representation during eviction. Western Center policy advocate Tina Rosales wrote an op-ed explaining why AB 1487 is necessary, drawing on her experience working as a tenant attorney in Los Angeles.
  • SB 65 – California’s Momnibus Act: Implements interventions to address race-related pregnancy and birthing mortality disparities for parents and infants in California. Western Center policy advocate Jen Flory and coalition partner Nourbese Flint from Black Women for Wellness wrote an opinion in CalMatters outlining the need for SB 65.

Native American Day in California

September 24th was Native American Day in California, which is home to the country’s largest Native population, and second largest number of tribes. Native American Day honors those who first lived in what is now California, and this year Governor Newsom signed a series of bills aimed at advancing equity and providing support for Native communities across the state. As with all days, weeks, and months of acknowledgement, there is still much to be done not only to repair past and present injustices, but also to incorporate Native wisdom into plans for a more inclusive, sustainable future. The federal Native American Heritage Month is in November.


Latinx/ Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th – October 15th is Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, when we recognize the incredible contributions, talent, culture, spirit, and diversity of Latinx/ Hispanic communities in the United States and beyond. Diversity is one of the most dynamic parts about the Latinx/ Hispanic experience, which is reflected in ongoing conversations about how people choose to identify. This piece from NPR provides context for the development of the term “Hispanic” in the United States, the history of Hispanic Heritage Month, and the ongoing conversations around it. And this piece from Human Rights Campaign does an excellent job explaining the rise of “Latinx” as a term that is more inclusive of gender non-conforming people.

With Latinx/ Hispanic people making up almost 20 percent of the U.S. population and close to 40 percent of the population of California, there’s a lot to do to achieve equity and much-needed representation for Latinx/ Hispanic people and communities. In 2021, Senator Alex Padilla became the first Latino Senator from California, despite the state’s high Latinx population. Padilla may be the first, but he cannot be the last.


“Party” With Us! 

Invitations are out for our annual Garden Party fundraiser on Thursday, October 14th from 6-7pm PDT. We will honor five outstanding individuals whose work compliments Western Center’s mission, and there will be a special A-list musical performance just for attendees! It’s virtual, so join from anywhere. Get details and tickets here.


The environmental justice logic behind Cori Bush’s fight for the eviction moratorium

“Courtney McKinney, director of communications at the nonprofit Western Center on Law and Poverty, says the U.S. should create a system that permanently limits the prevalence of evictions. The center is working on building state-based legal assistance funds, dubbed “homelessness prevention funds.” Across the country, just 10 percent of renters who go through an eviction process have legal representation, compared to 90 percent of landlords. ”

Read More

 

 

This will close in 0 seconds