SACRAMENTO--Constructing temporary sleeping cabins – which are less than 250 square feet – used to shelter the homeless will be less expensive with the governor’s approval of a measure that allows these temporary shelters to be built without fire sprinklers but with alternative fire safety standards. Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino) introduced the bill, AB 42.
Ramos said, “More than 173,000 Californians experience homelessness based on the January 2022 Point in Time homeless count, and it is a growing number. Temporary sleeping cabins are a way to provide temporary shelter for our homeless, especially our homeless youth. Yet the cost of adding plumbing necessary for sprinklers adds an expense that limits the number of units an agency or community group can provide. AB 42 allows us to create more temporary housing to serve our homeless in a safe manner.”
AB 42 prohibits, until January 2027, a local agency from imposing or enforcing requirements to provide fire sprinklers in temporary sleeping cabins if certain conditions are met. AB 42 requirements also include:
- Cabin sites must have a 24-active fire watch at the site regardless of spacing between the cabins.
- Cabin must be constructed of noncombustible material.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as fire extinguisher must be in each unit.
- Cabin sites must prohibit the use of open flames, smoking and combustibles.
Family Assistance Program Executive Darryl Evey said, “This is a great example of common sense legislation to overcome unintended consequences of well-meaning safety measures. This legislation will allow us to nearly double the number of units of temporary housing we can create to help our unhoused community in their path towards permanent housing. We are very grateful for Assemblymember James Ramos and his leadership in overcoming each barrier as we work towards a California where everyone has a place to sleep.”
AB 42 is sponsored by the Family Assistance Program and also is supported by the California Coalition for Youth and the California Apartment Association.
Assemblymember James C. Ramos proudly represents the 45th Assembly district which includes the Cities of Fontana, Highland, Mentone, Redlands, Rialto and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature. Ramos chairs the Assembly Committees on Rules.