ACA 10 Would Enshrine The Fundamental Right To Housing In The State
By Dolores Quintana
California Assemblymember Matt Haney of District 17 in San Francisco has introduced ACA 10, which is a Constitutional amendment for the state of California that would enshrine the fundamental right to housing in the state’s constitution. According to The Sacramento Bee, ACA 10 passed a vote in the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development with a 6 to 2 vote. The no votes were from Republican members of the committee on June 7, 2023.
Assemblymember Haney reminded everyone, while making a speech and as quoted by reporter Eytan Wallace, that the situation in the state is that while many California residents realize that there is a problem with homelessness, no one is quite sure what to do about it. On the Westside of Los Angeles, people see unhoused people and encampments, but for so long, there hasn’t been an overall plan to house people and keep others from falling into homelessness. Haney said, “This is about accountability. Otherwise, we have the status quo. We have more homeless people than anywhere in the country. We have more rent-burdened people…We have a lack of follow-through at every level of govt.”
The ACLU has expressed support for ACA 10 and said, via Twitter, “A right to housing is the tool we need to end barriers and ensure that everyone has a stable & permanent home in CA. Thank you to Asm. Housing Committee members for voting to pass #ACA10 by @MattHaneySF.”
One thing to remember is that the amendment doesn’t mean that everyone in the state will be given housing for free. Assemblymember Haney said, via his Twitter page on June 8, “Nothing in this amendment gives everyone free housing from the government–it simply recognizes housing as a fundamental human right, which is common sense for most people, deeply interconnected to every other right we are afforded as citizens, and that government has to plan within available resources to meet that right and be held accountable, and when it is violated there should be scrutiny similar to the many other rights we are afforded as citizens.”
The text of the amendment says, “ACA 10, as introduced, Haney. The fundamental human right to housing. The California Constitution enumerates various personal rights, including the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.
This measure would declare that the state recognizes the fundamental human right to adequate housing for everyone in California. The measure would make it the shared obligation of state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill this right by all appropriate means, as specified.”
Additionally, there was an article that was added to the amendment, which states, “Section 1. The state hereby recognizes the fundamental human right to adequate housing for everyone in California. It is the shared obligation of state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill this right, on a non-discriminatory and equitable basis, with a view to progressively achieve the full realization of the right, by all appropriate means, including the adoption and amendment of legislative measures, to the maximum of available resources.”
Assemblymember Haney jointly created ACA 10 with principal coauthors, Assembly Members Bryan and Kalra, Senator Waha, and co-authors Assembly Members McKinnor and Quirk-Silva and Senators Blakespear, Gonzalez, and Smallwood-Cuevas.