Senator Wiener’s Legislation to Create Transition Age Youth Housing Program Passes Senate Committee on Housing
SACRAMENTO – SB 234 — the SUPPORT Act, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) — passed the Senate Committee on Housing unanimously with bipartisan support. SB 234 creates a $100 million forgivable loan program to fund new housing, or acquire existing housing, for transition age youth between ages 16 and 26. The housing will serve young people who are homeless, in or exiting foster care, or exiting the criminal justice system. SB 234 is co-sponsored by the Alliance for Children’s Rights, California Coalition for Youth, Children Now, and GRACE/End Child Poverty in California.
Transition age youth face extremely high rates of housing instability and homelessness, which makes it difficult to pursue education or employment opportunities and therefore the chance to become self-sufficient. Foster youth and justice-involved youth are particularly at risk for homelessness. Though California funds extended foster care programs for those aged 18-21, there is a dearth of proper funding for supportive housing reserved for young people transitioning to adulthood.
The legislation will help remove financial barriers to construction and acquisition for many affordable housing developers. Housing projects eligible for this funding will address California’s long-term housing crisis and its more pressing housing needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic for vulnerable transition age youth. Fifty percent of the funds will be earmarked for projects that serve extended foster care youth age 18-21. The Senate Housing Committee passed the bill on consent without any opposition, and it will next be heard in Appropriations.
“Society has habitually overlooked the need to assist our transition age youth into a successful adulthood,” Senator Wiener said. “I’m proud of the bipartisan approval the SUPPORT Act has earned so far, and look forward to the day we can start helping our young folks in earnest.”