ORANGE, Calif. (JUNE 29, 2017) – The Association of California Cities– Orange County (ACC-OC)— the region’s leading public policy, strategy, education and advocacy group—is excited to announce that Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 346. The measure, authorizes redevelopment “successor” agencies to use portions of their existing affordable housing funds for the development of homelessness services, transitional housing, or emergency housing services.
The impetus for the enterprise began in the City of La Habra, and Mayor, Rose Espinoza emphasized the importance of the initiative. “Homelessness is an issue that affects every community in California. The City of La Habra has long been known as ‘A Caring Community,’ and to that end, our goal is to ensure our homeless residents have access to housing and social services that can improve the quality of their lives,” she said. The final bill, nearly a year in the making was authored by Assemblymembers Tom Daly (D – Anaheim) and William Brough (R – Dana Point), and strongly endorsed and sponsored by the ACC-OC.
“This is powerful and impactful legislation for the cities of California,” said Heather Stratman, CEO of the Association of California Cities-Orange County. “This bill allows municipalities to work with their contiguous neighboring cities, as well as their respective counties to identify and build affordable housing units.”
In shepherding the proposal through the legislature and onto the Governor’s desk for his signature, the ACC-OC produced a resounding legislative victory for cities across the state, in only the organization’s second sponsored bill endeavor. And the success proves that creative approaches to offering cities flexibility can be achieved in a bi-partisan effort.
AB 346 originated within Orange County however, its reach will now affect all of California. “The homeless population in Orange County is near 4,500 people, and our cities do not have the funds to provide adequate services and housing relief,” said Brough. “With AB 346, we are simply providing cities with a commonsense solution to best help their communities.”
Finalizing AB 346 demonstrates the commitment of ACC-OC to the local, regional and state level work necessary to mitigate homelessness. “Without question homelessness is a major public policy issue that is a priority for the ACC-OC,” said Stratman. “The bill also highlights one of the cornerstones of the Association, delivering local control of governance, spending and regulatory issues to municipalities and communities.”
As cities continue to develop strategies and initiatives to address homelessness, Daly said that “AB 346 will give them some additional flexibility and local control over how those funds are best spent to address specific needs in their communities.”
AB 346 is a major policy win for the ACC-OC, California stakeholders and the efforts by cities to bring more housing assets online. The law will take effect on January 1, 2018. “We thank Governor Brown and the Legislature for their work on AB 346 and applaud ACCOC for taking such a proactive role in the bill’s passage,” said Espinoza.
ABOUT THE ACC-OC:
The Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization representing the interests of the 34 cities in Orange County. ACC-OC is committed to protecting and preserving local governance, while offering a vast array of benefits and resources for city staff and elected representatives. ACC-OC’s ongoing mission is to be the authoritative regional voice for public policy issues, with focus on: education that empowers, policy that is collaborative and advocacy that is service-oriented. Learn more at www.accoc.org.
Assembly Member Daly represents the 69th Assembly District which includes the cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Orange.
Assemblyman William P. Brough represents the 73rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano.