No Place Like Home 

No Place Like Home- Background

On July 1, 2016, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation enacting the No Place Like Home (NPLH) program to dedicate $2 billion in bond proceeds to invest in the development of permanent supportive housing for persons who need mental health services and are experiencing homelessness, chronic homelessness, or who are at risk of chronic homelessness. The bonds are repaid by funding from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

NPLH funds shall be used to finance the capital costs of units in rental housing developments, including acquisition, design, construction, or rehabilitation costs associated with the rental housing community along with capitalized operating subsidy reserves. 

Key features of the program include:

  • A requirement is that permanent supportive housing utilizes low-barrier tenant selection practices that prioritize vulnerable populations and offer flexible, voluntary, and individualized supportive services.
  • A requirement that the County commit to providing mental health services and help coordinate access to other community-based supportive services for residents.
  • A restriction on the amount of rent charged is to be no more than 30 percent of the Area Median Income, as defined in the NPLH Program guidelines.

Population to be Served

Permanent supportive housing is intended to be provided to adults with serious mental illness, or children with severe emotional disorders and their families and persons who require or are at risk of requiring acute psychiatric inpatient care, residential treatment, or outpatient crisis intervention because of a mental disorder with symptoms of psychosis, suicidality or violence and who are homeless, chronically homeless, or at risk of chronic homelessness.

The risk of chronic homelessness includes persons who are at high risk of long-term or intermittent homelessness, including persons with mental illness exiting institutionalized settings, transition-age youth experiencing homelessness, or with significant barriers to housing stability.

Process for Obtaining Funding

Counties are eligible to apply for funding acting independently as a development sponsor or together with another entity, usually a developer of affordable housing, special needs housing, and permanent supportive housing.  Awards are made on a competitive basis, as more fully described in the NPLH Program Guidelines.

To qualify for funding, the County must submit a Housing Plan to the California Department of Housing and Community Development that specifies the goals, strategies, and activities that are in progress or that will be initiated to reduce homelessness and make it non-recurring for the population identified above. 

The Housing Plan must reflect input from the following groups:

  • County representatives with expertise from behavioral health, public health, probation/criminal justice, social services, and housing departments;
  • The HUD Continuum of Care for the County;
  • Housing and homeless service providers, especially those with experience providing housing or services to those who are chronically homeless;
  • County health plans, community clinics and health centers, and other health care providers;
  • Public housing authorities; and
  • Representatives of family caregivers of persons living with serious mental illness