Please copy and paste the sample letter below, adding your own details where indicated:
April 10, 2023
The Honorable Scott Wiener, Chair
Senate Committee on Housing
1021 O Street, Room 3330
Sacramento, California 95814
Re: Senate Bill 37 (Caballero): Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities Housing Stability Act of 2023: Support
Dear Senator Wiener,
On behalf of (Name of Organization/Municipality), I am pleased to offer our strong support of SB 37, which provides housing subsidies to older adults and adults with disabilities who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
(Brief statement describing what your organization does).
Californians who are older or with disabilities find it increasingly difficult to afford the rapidly rising cost of housing. Many of these Californians live on fixed incomes, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which are inadequate to cover rising rents. With business as usual, homelessness for older adults Californians (at least 65 years of age) is expected to triple between 2017 and 2030. For extremely low-income renters, roughly 8 out of 10 spend more than 50% of their monthly income on rent, placing them at risk of homelessness. People with disabilities comprise about 43% of those experiencing homelessness, and African American households are more than five times as likely to experience homelessness when compared to the general California population.
A key goal of the California Master Plan for Aging is to prevent and end older adult homelessness. Yet older adult homelessness is projected to increase, and no comprehensive state program exists that provides long-term housing subsidies for older and disabled adults who are on fixed incomes. Meanwhile, Housing Choice Vouchers and other federally subsidized housing programs often take years for applicants to access, since such programs accommodate only a fraction of eligible applicants.
SB 37 would provide a rent subsidy targeted to those older adults and adults with disabilities who are homeless or are at high risk of experiencing homelessness. The bill will establish OAADHSA within HCD to administer and offer competitive grants to nonprofit organizations, continuums of care, and other organizations. HCD will select grantees with the resources, expertise, and cultural specificity to provide assistance to households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Grants will prioritize communities in which a high proportion of the renters face cost burdens.
Grantees will provide subsidies to help older adults and adults with disabilities remain housed, with subsidies covering the difference between 30% of a person’s household income and the unit’s reasonable rent. Such subsidies will likely prevent and end homelessness for thousands of older and disabled adults. Studies show low-income renters accessing housing subsidies are able to remain housed or exit homelessness for good.
For these reasons, SB 37 (Caballero) would further (Name of Organization’s) goal of… (Insert short statement of bill’s importance as it relates to organization). We are proud to support SB 37 (Caballero), and encourage your “aye” vote when it is heard in the Senate Housing Committee.