California’s housing crisis is driving state lawmakers to think big. One question they’re considering: How can the Golden State guarantee housing as a right? This week, state legislators looked at two different approaches that tackle the legal right to housing and how the coronavirus pandemic is shaping the debate.
A Right to Housing for Families and Children
A California bill to create a “right to housing” mandate for families and children easily passed out of the Housing and Community Development committee on Wednesday.
Assembly Bill 2405, introduced by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Inglewood, would declare a right to housing and force state agencies to house children and families at risk of falling into homelessness. The state would need to provide rental assistance, eviction defense or emergency shelter.
Burke’s legislation specifically focuses on children and families, which she says was inspired by her legislative work on child poverty. Her research led her to the idea that a right to housing was essential to halting the cycle of poverty for California families.