Senator Chang's Bill to Help the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) Passes Senate

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA – Continuing her on-going efforts to combat the homelessness crisis, Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) is pleased to announce that the California State Senate passed Senate Bill 573 with bipartisan approval. SB 573 continues funding the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) with a yearly allocation of $250 million from the General Fund, directly assisting cities and counties through services such as street outreach and criminal justice diversion programs, housing vouchers, and rapid re-housing programs.

“We have a homelessness crisis in California, which is home to one-quarter of the homeless population in the United States,” said Senator Chang. “It’s essential we fund the HEAP grant program, which has already helped communities better serve their homeless populations. This crisis requires decisive and compassionate action, and I’m glad the Senate passed my bill to help our homeless neighbors.”

In April, Senator Chang delivered a letter to Governor Newsom requesting his support for HEAP. In January, Senator Chang’s staff participated in the 2019 Point in Time Count to learn more about homelessness issues in California. They worked with nonprofits such as City Net, which leads multi-sector homeless collaboratives, to gather information on the unsheltered homeless population in Orange County.

The City of Anaheim has the largest homeless population in North Orange County. In a letter addressed to Senator Chang, Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu stated that the City of Anaheim supports SB 573.

"Anaheim is a shining example of the return on investment California can see when it directly partners with cities to address homelessness. In the past three months, the City of Anaheim has opened three homeless shelters, helped hundreds out of homelessness and restored parks, streets and neighborhoods for their intended purposes, all with the help of HEAP funding," said Anaheim Mayor Sidhu.

Since her tenure, Senator Chang has fought to alleviate California’s homeless epidemic, housing shortages, and expensive housing market. Senator Chang co-authored SB 248, which would increase California’s renter’s credit for the first time in 40 years.