Governor Newsom signed AB 150 – a budget trailer bill – which includes the groundbreaking California Homeless Hiring Tax Credit. The Tax Credit simultaneously confronts the homelessness crisis facing California while also addressing the job losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic that have disproportionately harmed low-income communities. For small businesses, the Tax Credit is slated to ease the significant financial strain that many are currently experiencing.
Originally introduced in the legislature this year by Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) through a package of legislation – Senate Bill 424 (Durazo) and Assembly Bill 675 (Bloom) – the concept became a budget priority in both the State Senate and Assembly, reflected in the Joint Budget Proposal sent by the State Legislature to Governor Newsom earlier this month.
Establishing a tax credit between $2,500 and $10,000 per qualified homeless individual hired will create access to meaningful employment and pathways to careers for as many as 3,000 individuals. Under this plan, a qualified employer can claim $30,000 in tax credits annually, thereby assisting both individuals experiencing homelessness in addition to businesses that need additional support to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. To qualify to receive the credit, an eligible employer will need to 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.
“Creating this pathway for purposeful employment in a way that positively incentivizes our local, small businesses to hire our unhoused neighbors is a huge step in the fight to end homelessness,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “By establishing this tax credit, we will not only help revitalize our local businesses across the state, but move further towards housing all Californians. My team and I are honored to be part of the solution.”