BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair 812 (Ashburn) Hearing Date: 05/28/2009 Amended: 05/04/2009 Consultant: Mark McKenzie Policy Vote: T&H 10-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: SB 812 would require the housing element to include an analysis of the special housing needs of persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The bill would also require the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), in cooperation with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), to report to the Legislature on the housing needs of persons diagnosed with an ASD. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Fund DDS housing needs analysis Unknown, perhaps $100-$200 annually General Mandate Unknown, moderate costs to local Local/ governments. Unlikely to be reimbursable. General ----------see staff comments---------- _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: SUSPENSE FILE. AS PROPOSED TO BE AMENDED. The Planning and Zoning Law requires cities and counties to prepare and adopt a general plan, including a housing element to guide the future growth of a community. Following a staggered schedule, cities and counties located in more urban areas revise their housing elements every eight years, while rural local governments are on a five year schedule. A housing element must identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs, identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning to meet its fair share of the regional housing need, and ensure that regulatory systems provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development. HCD reviews both draft and adopted housing elements to determine whether or not they are in substantial compliance with the law. DDS currently provides community-based services to approximately 243,000 persons with developmental disabilities and their families through a statewide system of 21 regional centers, four developmental centers, and two community-based facilities. ASD is the fastest growing developmental disability in California, and within the next decade the state is projected to face a massive influx of persons with ASD who want to live independently. Currently, approximately 6,000 adults with a diagnosis of ASD receive services from DDS. In the next five years, more than 4,000 teenagers diagnosed with ASD will reach adulthood. By 2018, the number of adults with an ASD diagnosis who are receiving services from DDS is expected to grow to 19,000. This bill is intended to identify some of the particular needs of this population so that local governments can ensure the provision of adequate and appropriate housing for persons with ASD. Page 2 SB 812 (Ashburn) SB 812 would require cities and counties to include within the housing needs assessment portion of their housing elements an analysis of the special housing needs of persons diagnosed with an ASD. In assessing the needs of persons with ASDs, the local government would consult with local regional centers, the Area Board on Developmental Disabilities, and other relevant stakeholders. This bill would also require HCD, in cooperation with DDS, to report to the Legislature on the housing needs of persons diagnosed with an ASD who receive services from either DDS or a regional center. Staff recommends an amendment to specify a due date for the report. HCD indicates that costs to prepare the report would be in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. DDS is unable to provide specific cost information at this time, but notes that costs would be incurred to provide specific data analysis on the ASD population, determine what the special needs are for these individuals, and coordinate with local governments through the regional centers. Staff estimates these costs would be in the range of $100,000 to $200,000 annually. Legislative Counsel has keyed SB 812 as a state-mandated local program by requiring additional information to be included in the housing element. Recent decisions by the Commission on State Mandates (COSM), however, indicate that local governments may not succeed in filing a test claim for reimbursement for the higher level of service imposed by this bill. In 2005, the COSM reversed previous decisions that had provided for reimbursement to local governments and councils of government (COGs) for the "Regional Housing Needs Determination" mandate (Statutes of 1980, Chapter 1143), related to housing element requirements. On reconsideration of the previous decisions, the COSM determined, in light of statutes enacted and court decisions rendered since 1980, that previously approved test claims are not reimbursable because cities, counties, and COGs have fee authority for this program, citing Government Code Sections 65104, which authorizes local entities to establish fees to support the work of the planning agency, and 65584.1, which allows a city or county to charge a fee to recover costs incurred by a COG in distributing regional housing needs. In light of these decisions, staff notes that the COSM would probably not approve a claim for reimbursement related to SB 812 because local entities have the authority to charge fees for planning costs, including costs associated with housing element requirements. If a successful claim were filed, however, costs would likely be relatively minor for each agency to comply with the requirements of this bill. Proposed amendments would delete the requirement for HCD, in cooperation with DDS, to submit a report to the Legislature.