The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding changes to the CalWORKs Homeless Assistance program in SB 1065. These changes will become effective when CDSS notifies the legislature that the statewide computer system can perform necessary automation to implement them, which is estimated to be in 9 to 12 months.
The $100 liquid resource limit for applying for Homeless Assistance will be removed. There will no longer be a liquid resource limit for applying for Homeless Assistance.
A county will be required to accept a sworn statement to verify homelessness. The CW 42 is a sworn statement so it will meet that requirement. The county will not be allowed to seek additional verification.
Counties can refer families to their early fraud prevention and detection unit if they believe the applicant is questionably homeless. SB 1065 defines “questionable homeless” as “when there is a reason to suspect the family has permanent housing.” The county must have evidence to suspect that the family has safe and stable permanent housing in which the family can continue to reside without support for a referral of the family as questionably homeless.
Homeless assistance for domestic abuse victims is for two 16-day periods. When SB 1065 is implemented, the family will be eligible for the second 16-day period even if CalWORKs is granted during the first 16-day period. Note that homeless assistance for domestic abuse victims is in addition to any other temporary or permanent homeless assistance the family may be eligible for.
For families affected by disaster, SB 1065 will remove the requirement for eligibility for disaster homeless assistance that the state or federally declared disaster be a natural disaster.
SB 1065 removes the requirement that security deposit or last month rent be reasonable. Counties will no longer be allowed to reject payment of security deposit or last month rent that is a condition of securing a residence.
SB 1065 will require that any refund of permanent homeless assistance funds be returned to the family. Counties will no longer be allowed to collect homeless assistance funds that are refunded to the family. (ACL 21-121, October 6, 2021.)