Throughout the summer, Brilliant Corners has worked to advance our advocacy efforts in the housing, deincarceration, and development sectors. Over the last months, Brilliant Corners has continued its active support of the Bring California Home Act, as well as efforts to ensure full funding for Measure J, a ballot measure passed last fall in LA County to provide the tools to address the longstanding racial disparities and inadequate community investments in the most underserved and impacted LA County communities. Additionally, we have supported various bills, calls to action, and legislative proposals that advance the homeless response system’s collective capacity to expand housing access through a lens of equity. We have outlined below the state and local advocacy initiatives that we are currently pursuing that align with our mission to end homelessness.
In light of Judge Mary Strobel’s June 18 ruling on Measure J, Brilliant Corners took various steps to urge the Board of Supervisors to reaffirm its commitment to a “Care First, Jails Last” vision. Judge Strobel’s ruling was deeply concerning and threatened Measure J’s initiative to divest from law enforcement and invest in our communities, specifically Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. In response, our team joined efforts with community partner Reimagine LA to call for the adoption of the Care First Budget and fully fund existing programs that epitomize this vision. LA County’s CEO has only allocated $100M toward Measure J in the initial proposed budget for next fiscal year, so it remains to be seen if and how the Board of Supervisors will adopt the full $170.9M Measure J spending plan.
AB 71: Helping Shape the State Budget
In early June, while our leaders in Sacramento were finalizing their state budget, we joined efforts with our partner CSH, Housing California, and many others in the Bring California Home Coalition to advocate for ongoing funding to solve homelessness. We encouraged the Governor and legislators to commit $1 billion ongoing funding into the state budget, and to ensure the $1 billion is allocated using the same policy priorities as in AB 71, the Bring California Home proposal, which includes funding rental assistance, operating subsidies, services, and other ongoing costs. The $1 billion is a historic move toward ongoing rather than one-time funding and part of a larger $12 billion in the overall budget to address the housing and homelessness crisis. Brilliant Corners continues to work with the Bring California Home Coalition on new strategies to achieve our full vision, including potentially a ballot measure.
In July, our agency testified at the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee in support of Assembly Bill 816. AB 816 charges the state and local governments with reducing homelessness 90% by 2030 through action-oriented, enforceable plans and issues a clear call to use all available tools and resources to address the crisis of homelessness public. AB 816 requires action at both the state and local levels to reduce homelessness in a measurable way. It sets up a process for state agencies, local governments, and private partners to collaborate. And it holds all levels of government accountable for meeting their commitments. This bill is still in process and was recently re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.
Roadmap Home 2030
Brilliant Corners participated in the development of key elements and endorsed the Roadmap Home 2030, a comprehensive, equity-centered, and evidence-based plan to address the root causes of housing insecurity and homelessness in California and to stop the crisis in its tracks. We are proud to support this important vision to advance racial equity, end homelessness, and create stable, affordable homes for all Californians.
Expanding Access to Housing for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
We continue our support and outreach in partnership with the Lanterman Housing Alliance (LHA) on the recently announced funding for affordable housing for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through California’s Home and Community-Based Service (HCBS) plan. Through this one-time funding, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has set aside $150 Million for affordable housing funding to support the I/DD community, including unprecedented dedicated funding for rental subsidies. The proposed spending plan is now awaiting response and approval from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In particular, the dedicated funding for rental subsidies would be a historic first for the DDS/Regional Center system—an approach that we’ve been pushing for over the last decade as part of LHA’s strategy to increase access to appropriate and affordable community-based housing options for the I/DD community.
At the Local level
Reinvesting CJ4 savings into the San Francisco Community
In late June, our team joined the No New SF Jail Coalition to sign onto a joint letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors calling for a reinvestment of funds into care and community. The joint letter advocates for a reallocation of funding from the now-closed County Jail 4 from the Sheriff’s Department into housing, healthcare, education, and other social services, and a revision in the proposed budget to reinvest the savings from closing CJ4 in community care. These funds would invest in life-affirming services and other programs that will help make our communities safer.
Brilliant Corners also joined the Los Angeles Community Land Trust coalition, and other partners to endorse the TOPA4LA campaign. The campaign urges the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to adopt the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), a powerful and effective policy that is paving the way to make housing permanently affordable and to convert low-income tenants into co-owners of their own communities. TOPA would establish new rights for tenants living in multi-dwelling units when their owner decides to sell the building. These rights include: Right of first offer, where tenants would have the right to make the first offer on the building; and Right of first refusal, where tenants would have the right to match or beat any private market offer the owner has accepted. In addition to establishing new rights for tenants TOPA will help create and increase permanent, affordable housing options, convert tenants into owners, increase homeownership among Black, Latinx, and low-income communities, correct the historical disinvestment of communities of color in Los Angeles County, and bring us one step closer to helping ensure that housing is a human right.