Culver City Observer -

Durazo, Bloom Propose Homeless Hiring Tax Credit

 

February 18, 2021



LOState Senator María Elena Durazo and State Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa have introduced a

package of legislation - Senate Bill 424 and Assembly Bill 675 - to create a California Homeless Hiring Tax

Credit they allege would simultaneously confront the homelessness crisis facing California, address the

rampant job losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic that have disproportionately harmed low-

income communities, and ease the significant financial strain that many small businesses are currently

experiencing.

Establishing a tax credit between $2,500 and $10,000 per qualified homeless individual hired would

create access to meaningful employment and pathways to careers for up to 3,000 individuals currently

experiencing homelessness in California. Under this proposal, a qualified employer could claim $30,000

in tax credits annually, thereby assisting both individuals experiencing homelessness in addition to

businesses that need additional support to cover bills and weather the economic impacts of the

pandemic.

"This bill would elevate small businesses that provide quality, high-road jobs as critical partners in our

response to homelessness in California,” said Senator Durazo. “And as we look toward an equitable

recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, this legislation will connect people who are experiencing

homelessness to good jobs and living wages. This bill will reward the businesses that are willing to invest

in our brothers and sisters who are sleeping on the streets and looking for an opportunity to get their

lives back on track.”

“SB 424 and AB 675 are an important step towards addressing the crisis of our unhoused neighbors in a

way that brings our business community into the conversation,” according to Bloom. “Creating ways to

incentivize hiring of our unhoused neighbors will lead to employment and housing opportunities for our

homeless population, both of which are essential to ending the cycles of poverty. This tax credit can also

support our small businesses as they navigate beyond the pandemic.“

To qualify to receive the credit, an eligible employer would need to have 500 employees or less, pay

wages subject to withholding under the Unemployment Insurance code, pay family-supporting wages,

and be certified as a “high-road” employer by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

According to a study released by LAHSA in 2020, over 66,000 individuals were experiencing

homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles County. Additionally, the Los Angeles Economic

Development Corporation reports that LA County lost 437,000 jobs in 2020, will have 354,000 fewer

living wage jobs in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic economy, and that 738,672 living wage jobs

need to be created for the entire LA County workforce to achieve a satisfactory standard of living.

Moreover, at least 25% of people experiencing homelessness have no prior employment experience; of

those who did have employment experience prior to COVID-19, two of the top four employment

industries were retail and food service – which have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. To support

small businesses and ensure an economic recovery that works for Californians most in need, it is

essential to prioritize our homeless neighbors who have experienced historical barriers to employment

and are facing an even bleaker job market today than they were a year ago.

 

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