Carbajal’s Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act Gains Momentum In the U.S. Senate

Bill included in new comprehensive affordable housing legislation led by California Senator Alex Padilla in the Senate, Carbajal in the House

Santa Barbara, CA, February 25, 2022

Santa Barbara, CA –  Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Representative Ted Lieu (CA-43) announced a new bicameral affordable housing bill, the Housing for All Act, that will invest in new affordable housing options and help Californians experiencing homelessness.

One measure included in the new comprehensive legislative package is Rep. Carbajal’s bipartisan Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act, a measure first introduced in the House last year to support establishment and expansion of safe parking programs.

"I am thrilled that my bill, the Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act, is advancing in the U.S. Senate as a part of Senator Alex Padilla's Housing for All Act. This comprehensive legislation package will help us address the core issues of homelessness and affordable housing in California and across the nation," said Rep. Carbajal. "I'm proud to join Representative Ted Lieu to introduce this legislation in the House. It will be another step toward our goal of ensuring every American has a roof over their head."

“Every person has a right to the dignity and security of housing. As we continue to face historic affordable housing and homelessness crises, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to take all levels of government working together to rebuild a more inclusive and equitable society for all. This legislation is an opportunity to invest and align resources in expanding affordable housing and strengthening proven solutions,” said Senator Padilla.  “Affordable housing is essential infrastructure, and that’s why I am proud to introduce the Housing for All Act of 2022 to ensure that every person has a place to call home.”

The Housing for All Act is aimed at creating more affordable housing units in California and across the U.S., as well as helping the half a million Americans experiencing homelessness and millions more who are facing eviction or spending more than half of their monthly earnings on rent.

The legislation would invest $532 billion over the next ten years to fund new housing units, rental assistance, safe parking programs, hotel and motel conversions, eviction protection grants, and more.

More information on the Housing for All Act can be found here.

The Housing for All Act will be led in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Padilla and in the House by Representative Carbajal and Representative Ted Lieu (CA-43).

“Homelessness remains a persistent and difficult problem in Los Angeles and in communities around the country,” said Rep. Lieu. “The pandemic only worsened the economic and societal factors that contribute to homelessness, which is why it is so important that we address this issue head-on now. Homelessness is a complicated challenge that requires a multi-faceted approach. I’m pleased to be Senator Padilla’s partner on this comprehensive legislation to address the affordable housing shortage and support proven, community-driven solutions to homelessness.”

Background on the Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act:

Vehicle residency is one of the fastest-growing forms of homelessness and estimates show that about a quarter of homeless individuals in Los Angeles are living out of their vehicles. While cars, trucks, and RVs can be cost-effective alternatives in places with some of the nation’s steepest rents, sleeping in a vehicle on most city streets is illegal and often leaves those experiencing vehicular homelessness vulnerable to harassment and violence.

Safe parking programs provide homeless persons living in their vehicles with a safe place to park their vehicles overnight and offer resources to assist with the transition to more stable housing. The very first safe parking program in the country was established in Santa Barbara in 2004 in former County Supervisor Naomi Schwartz’s district, who the bill is named after to honor her role as an original champion of the program. Safe parking programs have now spread across the country, but there remains limited federal funds to run the operational costs associated with the program. 

On May 3, 2021, Rep. Carbajal held a press conference with local officials in Santa Barbara, CA to introduce the bipartisan Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act. 

Download Press Conference Video Here

Download Press Conference Photos Here

The Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act establishes five-year grants through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for cities and local governments to apply for up to $5 million dollars to establish or expand existing safe parking programs.

More information on Rep. Carbajal’s measure can be found here.


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