Sacramento Business Journal, November 20 2018

With thousands of families displaced by the Camp Fire, homelessness advocates at the nonprofit Sacramento Steps Forward are concerned about impacts on local housing and homelessness.

On top of the unprecedented loss of life, the wildfire has since Nov. 8 destroyed at least 11,713 homes and displaced most of the town of Paradise’s population of 26,000. Reports have already arrived of strained housing resources in Butte County, which had a housing vacancy rate between 1.5 and 2.5 percent, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record.

“If you don’t have family or friends to rely upon, people who would otherwise never become homeless may become homeless,” said Ben Avey, chief public affairs officer with Sacramento Steps Forward.

The nonprofit Sacramento Steps Forward is the lead agency in Sacramento for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Program, which distributes federal grants to programs that combat homelessness.