Efforts to develop regional homeless plan moving forward


 Efforts to develop a regionalized approach to address the growing issue of homelessness have taken a major step forward.

The Butte County Housing and Homeless Team held a Regional Housing Planning Symposium, the first of three meetings, at the Southside Oroville Community Center on Wednesday.

The goal is to develop a plan that outlines the responsibility of each stakeholder and detail spending priorities of the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP 5) and future funding sources.

Taking a regionalized approach amounts to strength in numbers when it comes to applying for grants to build low-income housing.

Another priority is working to cut red tape that often delays groundbreaking of affordable housing projects.

There are also benefits to standardizing how statistics surrounding homelessness are reported, which increases understanding and collaboration among different agencies.

The keynote speakers were Justin Garrett, Senior Legislative Analyst at the California Association of Counties and Amber Ostrander, Grants Operation Section Chief at the California Interagency Council on Homelessness.

This is the first of three meeting with the next gathering taking place in December and January.