BSCC Expedites Release of New Housing Assistance Grant Funds
SACRAMENTO (August 13, 2020) – To expedite grants for connecting people newly released from state prison to housing rental services the Board of State and Community Corrections today awarded $17.5 million to eight organizations next on a list established for a previous round of rental funding.
The unanimous vote by the Board provides additional support to people leaving state prison, as thousands of releases are occurring to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The BSCC Adult Reentry Grant Program was established in the Budget Act of 2018 with $50 million in funding, and the Budget Act of 2019 provided $32.9 million more. The first 69 grants, awarded in July 2019, were to provide rental assistance and warm handoff reentry services. Funding requests made to the BSCC exceeded the amount available.
The Budget Act of 2020 appropriated an additional $37 million, half of which was designated for rental assistance programs. This Board decision will allow BSCC staff to use the list of previously unfunded projects to quickly disperse the new $17.5 million of grant funding that is earmarked for housing rental assistance. It will fund eight of the highest-ranking proposals that fell short of available funding in 2019.
The remaining $17.5 million for Warm Hand-Off Programs will require more time for the BSCC to allocate because the amount of money available exceeds the total requested by qualified applicants remaining on the 2019 rank-ordered list. BSCC staff will come back to the Board in September with recommendations for development of a new competitive bid process.
The BSCC began the process of establishing the Adult Reentry Grant Program criteria in July 2018 by approving appointment of an Executive Steering Committee to develop a Request for Proposals, and then to read and rank the proposals. The committee received 147 proposals in March 2019 across all categories of funding.
Last year the housing rental assistance category had $40.5 million available, and 58 proposals requested a total of $145 million in rental assistance. The 16 top-rated rental assistance proposals were funded.
The new funds allocated today for rental assistance will go to eight additional community-based organizations from Los Angeles to the Inland Empire to the Bay Area, including Homeboy Industries of Los Angeles, which provides housing stability and counseling. A list of projects that will be funded is available here.
The BSCC is a multi-faceted organization whose duties include providing technical assistance to local corrections and administering state and federal rehabilitative grants.