Press Release: Padilla Announces Legislation to Address Affordable Housing and Homelessness Crises

February 25, 2022

Tess Whittlesey
(202) 224-3553

Senator Padilla joins local stakeholders in Sacramento to introduce Housing for All Act

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced comprehensive legislation to address the affordable housing and homelessness crises in California and across the country. The Housing for All Act of 2022 would invest in proven solutions to address critical affordable housing shortages and provide a surge of funding for strategic, existing programs to reduce homelessness as well as for innovative, locally-developed solutions to help those experiencing homelessness. Representatives Ted Lieu and Salud Carbajal (both D-Calif.) will lead the introduction of companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Padilla announced the legislation today with local leaders and advocates at La Mancha Way Apartments, a Project Homekey site in Sacramento. The site operates in an innovative partnership with the Sacramento Housing Redevelopment Agency to purchase hotels and motels that can be rehabilitated into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing homelessness. The investments in the Housing For All Act would build on these creative solutions that cities and states in California have successfully developed.

The National Low-Incoming Housing Coalition estimates that the United States has a shortage of 6.8 million affordable homes available to low-income renters. In California, more than 1.4 million units are needed to address the affordable housing shortage, and more than 161,000 people experience homelessness in the state each night – including families with young children, veterans, and victims of domestic violence. Prior to the pandemic, one in four renters spent half of their monthly income on rent, and nearly one million tenants were evicted each year.

“Every person has a right to the dignity and security of housing,” said Senator Padilla. “As we continue to face historic affordable housing and homelessness crises, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to take all levels of government working together to rebuild a more inclusive and equitable society for all. This legislation is an opportunity to invest and align resources in expanding affordable housing and strengthening proven solutions. Affordable housing is essential infrastructure, and that’s why I am proud to introduce the Housing for All Act of 2022 to ensure that every person has a place to call home.”

“Homelessness remains a persistent and difficult problem in Los Angeles and in communities around the country,” said Congressman Lieu. “The pandemic only worsened the economic and societal factors that contribute to homelessness, which is why it is so important that we address this issue head-on now. Homelessness is a complicated challenge that requires a multi-faceted approach. I’m pleased to be Senator Padilla’s partner on this comprehensive legislation to address the affordable housing shortage and support proven, community-driven solutions to homelessness.”

“I’m grateful to Senator Padilla for his leadership and attention to California’s – and the nation’s – affordability crisis,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “California has stepped up big with $22 billion for housing and homelessness, but no state can do it alone. We need Washington, DC to match our urgency and increase their financial commitment to solving this existential crisis.”

The Housing for All Act of 2022 would invest in proven solutions by:

  • Addressing the affordable housing shortage by investing in the National Housing Trust Fund, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities.
  • Addressing the homelessness crisis by investing in Housing Choice Vouchers, Project-Based Rental Assistance, the emergency solutions grant program (which helps with street outreach, rapid re-housing assistance, emergency shelter, and homelessness prevention), and Continuums of Care.
  • Supporting innovative, locally developed approaches to these crises by investing in hotel and motel conversions to permanent supportive housing with supportive services; investing in the Eviction Protection Grant Program; investing in mobile crisis intervention teams to help those with medical or psychological needs avoid the criminal justice system; investing in libraries that support people experiencing homelessness; investing in programs that offer a safe place to park overnight and facilitate access to rehousing services and essential services; and investing in inclusive, transit-oriented development and infill development.

A section-by-section of the Housing for All Act is available HERE.

“I am thrilled that my bill, the Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act, is advancing in the U.S. Senate as a part of Senator Alex Padilla’s Housing for All Act,” said Congressman Carbajal. “This comprehensive legislation package will help us address the core issues of homelessness and affordable housing in California and across the nation,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I’m proud to join Representative Ted Lieu to introduce this legislation in the House. It will be another step toward our goal of ensuring every American has a roof over their head.”

“As the Mayors of some of California’s largest and most populated cities, we are all grappling with the housing and homelessness crisis and are excited to see such strong leadership on this issue from our Senator. The “Housing for All Act of 2022” would invest in proven solutions to housing shortages, fund programs that have been proven to reduce homelessness, and strengthen innovative, locally-developed programs to appropriately engage with those experiencing homelessness.”

  • London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco
  • Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles
  • Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach
  • Todd Gloria, Mayor of San Diego
  • Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose
  • Kevin Lincoln, Mayor of Stockton
  • Patricia Lock Dawson, Mayor of Riverside
  • Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland
  • Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento

“The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) applauds Senator Padilla for introducing the Housing for All Act which addresses the severe lack of affordable housing across all communities and counties in California, including in my home county of Siskiyou,” said CSAC President and Siskiyou County Supervisor Ed Valenzuela. “This important bill provides an array of investments to bolster California’s historic efforts in the affordable housing and homelessness crises. CSAC looks forward to working with Senator Padilla and our state and local partners to address these challenges.”

“The pandemic has magnified and accelerated the country’s affordable housing crisis, a central cause of housing instability, eviction, and homelessness,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “More than ever, bold policies are needed to significantly expand federal investments in affordable, accessible housing for the nation’s lowest-income households. I applaud Senator Padilla’s ‘Housing for All Act,’ which provides the robust investments in deeply affordable, accessible housing, housing vouchers, and homelessness response services needed to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all.”

“Senator Padilla’s Housing for All Act recognizes the extraordinary work performed during the pandemic by local homelessness systems and would provide them with robust resources, including significant new investments in the Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grants programs as well as Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance,” said Steve Berg, vice president for programs and policy at the National Alliance to End Homelessness.  “In addition to providing resources, Senator Padilla’s legislation would promote innovative policies like using motels and hotels for permanent supportive housing and specific efforts to help house the growing numbers of individuals and families experiencing vehicular homelessness.”

“The research is clear – lack of affordable housing is at the root of many societal issues, including health and educational disparities,” said Professor Matthew Desmond of Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. “I’m glad to see Senator Padilla put forward legislation that attacks the core problems of housing insecurity and homelessness in America. As COVID -19 eviction moratoriums lift, passing the Housing for All Act would be life changing for the millions of Americans who don’t have access to affordable housing and are currently facing eviction.”

“The California Housing Partnership enthusiastically supports Senator Padilla’s Housing for All Act providing expanded federal resources to counteract the acute shortage of affordable homes, which in California has been pushing families and individuals into overcrowded situations and risking homelessness amidst the pandemic,” said Matt Schwartz, President and CEO of the California Housing Partnership.

“The Housing for All Act would strengthen the crucial services that libraries provide to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” said Patty Wong, president of the American Library Association.

 “LeadingAge applauds the introduction of the Housing for All Act. Housing cost burdens and homelessness are rising steeply for older adults. Because of longstanding underinvestment in critical housing resources, our country’s supply of affordable housing for older adults is simply insufficient,” said Katie Smith Sloan, President & CEO, LeadingAge. “This bill is a much needed and long overdue response to address significant needs. For example, the bill’s $2.5 billion investment in HUD’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program would result in about 37,000 new homes as well as new Service Coordinators who help older adult residents age in community in affordable, quality housing. We look forward to doing all we can to secure enactment of Senator Padilla’s new bill.”

Since joining the Senate, Padilla has been a steadfast supporter of efforts to address the homelessness and housing crises in the state. Senator Padilla helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars for California through the American Rescue Plan that will support local affordable housing programs and projects. He also successfully advocated to extend the federal eviction moratorium and co-led the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 to ensure that people in California and across the country are protected from unreasonable and dangerous evictions in the middle of a pandemic. He also cosponsored the West Los Angeles VA Campus Improvement Act, to help address veteran homelessness, which was signed into law last year.

Padilla supports the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Housing Credit and provide as many as 2,015,000 additional affordable homes over the next 10 years, generating nearly 3 million jobs, $346 billion in wages and business income, and $120 billion in tax revenue.

Padilla has also led efforts urging President Biden to prioritize affordable housing in the Build Back Better infrastructure bill, calling for the inclusion of $70 billion to address the Public Housing repair backlog, and $45 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund per year, of which $26 billion would be reserved for permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.