Newsom Signs Bill on Data Governance for Homeless Management Information System

By Published On: October 1, 2021

On Sep. 29, Gov. Newson signed a new suite of bills addressing California’s homelessness crisis, a vital part of his $22 billion housing affordability and homelessness package.

The package includes 84,000 new affordable housing units, new data mandates, and oversights related to the Homeless Management Information System (AB 977).

Championed by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) and seven bipartisan co-authors, the Homeless Management Information System would require “that a grantee or entity operating specified state homelessness programs, including the No Place Like Home Program, as a condition of receiving state funds, to enter Universal Data Elements and Common Data Elements . . . on the individuals and families it serves into its local Homeless Management Information System unless otherwise exempted by state or federal law,” according to the legislation.

According to the Bill, aggregate data summaries would be provided to state agencies and departments by the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. Naturally, health information and personal identifying information would not be disclosed to the public. 

“There is immense frustration in the Legislature and around the state with the lack of progress on homelessness,” said Assemblymember Gabriel in a press release from Feb. 2021. “No matter how well-intentioned, we can’t keep writing blank checks and hoping for the best. We need stronger oversight to hold local programs accountable and ensure that public resources are being spent in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”

About the Author: Will Keys

Will Keys writes about technology issues for the GovReport. He is a graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. He can be reached at will at govreport.org