As the enactment of SB 43 (Eggman) sinks in, this question is being asked a lot. We want to kick off the Newsletter this week by reminding everyone that, for starters, the State still has money appropriated in previous budget cycles for beds throughout the continuum of care. Infrastructure funding, alongside significant new state and federal investments in homelessness, healthcare delivery reform, and the social safety net, is designed to address historic gaps in the behavioral health and long-term care continuum.
You should be able to click on the inset to the right – please do and scroll through what has already been awarded for facilities in the last several years! These investments are for care that can be provided in a variety of settings.
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) was authorized through 2021 legislation to establish BHCIP and award $2.2 billion to construct, acquire, and expand properties and invest in mobile crisis infrastructure related to behavioral health. DHCS is releasing these funds through six grant rounds targeting various gaps in the state’s behavioral health facility infrastructure. Not all the funding has been released; hundreds of millions of dollars are still available for additional beds.
Community Care Expansion (CCE) Program
In addition, the Community Care Expansion (CCE) program was established by Assembly Bill (AB) 172 (Chapter 696, of Statutes 2021) and provides funding for acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation to preserve and expand adult and senior care facilities that serve Social Security Income (SSI) applicants and recipients, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. More information about the CCE program can be found here.
This is all important in and of itself. It is even more important when considering that Proposition 1 on the March, 2024 ballot would, if approved by the voters, authorize the issuance of almost $6.4 billion in bonds to be allocated as follows:
- $1.05 billion for permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans who have mental health or substance abuse disorders,
- $922 million to fund permanent supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have behavioral health needs;
- and $4.393 billion for grants for behavioral health treatment and housing eligibleunder the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program described above.
No reinvention of the wheel. Rather, a potentially historic investment that can get on the ground even quicker since the process is already devised and understand around the state. Thousands and thousands of new beds, and many of them hopefully in operation by 2026 when most counties will ultimately have to implement SB 43. Will it be enough? Only time will tell. If it isn’t, CSAP will pursue even more funding.