It is essential to understand that while sober living environments or alcohol-free and drug-free housing do not require a DHCS license, they may be subject to other types of permits, authorizations, business taxes, or local fees that may be mandated by the cities or counties in which they are located. Some counties in California have implemented certification programs for sober households that apply for county grants. These requirements could include regular home inspections, front yard smoking bans and talking loud and vulgar, and a policy of promptly dealing with neighbor complaints. Interestingly, other cities and counties with sober living ordinances, such as Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Niguel, Yucaipa and Fresno, as well as Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Kern and Sacramento counties have not yet received similar letters from the Department of Housing and Community Development.
When selecting a sober home for your loved one, it is important to take a moment to make sure they have the proper accreditation and licenses needed to legally run a drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility. The city of Encinitas watched, and waited, for five years as the city of Costa Mesa waged a fierce and costly legal battle to regulate sober homes. This implies that sober living facilities that provide post-treatment care do not require a state license application. This may limit the number of sober living facilities that can be found in a given area, as well as the number of beds available to people in recovery.
In Huntington Beach, the city will deny permits to sober home operators who have been sober for less than a year. The state demanded that Encinitas take immediate steps to repeal its sober living law or face the loss of millions in housing funds and perhaps a legal battle with the Attorney General. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that your sober home does not offer any services that could be interpreted as an addiction treatment service. The bill would also prohibit any former owner of an addiction treatment center who lost their licenses from opening homes to live sober.
Then, last year, when Costa Mesa achieved victories in state and federal courts, Encinitas came into action, adopting sober rules of life that were remarkably similar to those of Costa Mesa. It also creates what the state calls “an onerous permit requirement that jeopardizes the financial viability of the group.” Sober living households and households by requirements that include, but are not limited to, 24-hour on-site management. In some cases, you may be able to call your local state agencies and find out if the sober housing you are considering is up to date with their licensing regulations. She points to the experience of Newport Beach, which more than a decade ago became the first city to draft rules for sober living homes.
And the city's so-called good neighborliness policy requires sober housing operators to report neighbors within 500 feet, which could stigmatize sober patients at home and assume they will be bad neighbors, city officials said in recommending the ordinance's demise so soon after its adoption. Sober Living Network, for example, has been accrediting homes in Southern California for more than 20 years. According to the DHCS, “If a sober living facility provides only one of these services, it must be classified as a residential program and must obtain a valid license from DHCS.