This Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council will receive a report on the Phase II Community Action Plan to Address Homelessness by the county.
While no action is required besides potentially appointing two members of the council to the county’s Elected Leaders Forum to help direct policy decisions for the region, staff is recommending the city adopt a resolution showing support of the county’s goals.
“A uniform regional approach from the county plan will ensure further focused resources are deployed and allow elected leaders to collaborate on directing policy that will best address the region’s homelessness crisis,” the staff report reads. “The city has addressed many of the requests outlined above through the city’s partnerships with SB ACT and City Net, as well as internal policy and procedures through the city’s Community Development Department and the city’s General Plan Housing Element.”
Phase II’s key strategies include: prioritizing ending/dramatically reducing homelessness for specific populations; increasing housing inventory dedicated to housing the homeless; creating a culture of diversion and prevention across the homeless response system; improving overall homeless system performance; and achieving the Santa Barbara County Continuum of Care strategies and benchmarks approved in 2019 by the CoC Board.
The county is asking local jurisdictions to commit to community engagement, planning and funding.
The county’s homelessness plan is the only administrative item on the agenda, but consent calendar items include: approving a $1 million Proposition 1 Integrated Regional Water Management Grant; increasing the salary for the mayor and city council members by 2.62%; and authorizing lease agreements with nonprofits at the Westside and Franklin Community Centers, among other items.
The regular meeting will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, and there will also be a special Finance Committee meeting at noon before the regular meeting to hear a report on the American Rescue Plan Act financial stimulus and recovery provisions to discuss how these may benefit Santa Barbara and its local businesses and residents.
Santa Barbara has been allocated $22.5 million in funding, with $11.25 million expected before the end of May and the remaining funding expected a year later.
“While this funding is much needed, it is smaller than the revenue losses incurred by the General Fund, and smaller still than the total citywide impact,” the staff report reads. “It is the staff’s recommendation that, given the magnitude of the reserves used to balance the budget over the last two fiscal years (projected at $13.8 million), the city receive the recovery funds into General Fund reserves.”
During the special meeting, the Finance Committee will also review the two-year financial plan for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, including the FY 2022 recommended budget.
Tune into the regular meeting at 2 p.m. on City TV Channel 18, or stream both meetings at www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/CAP.