California Governor Plans To Release A $1 Billion Fund To Combat Homelessness

In response to his announcement two weeks ago that he would withhold funding unless cities and counties came up with more comprehensive plans, the Democratic governor Gavin Newsom was meeting with mayors and local authorities.

Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, has agreed to restore $1 billion in state funding for homeless services that he testily suspended earlier this month, but only if local governments agree to increase the aggressiveness of their future plans to reduce the state’s unhoused population, his office said on Friday.

After declaring two weeks ago that he would withhold money until towns and counties came up with more comprehensive plans, the Democratic governor was meeting with mayors and local authorities. He referred to the plans that had been provided as “just unacceptable” because they would only reduce the state’s homeless population by 2% over the following four years as a whole.

“Everyone must improve, including the state, counties, and cities. In a news release on November 3, he declared, “We are all in this together.

In his second term, Newsom, who easily won reelection last month, must demonstrate reductions in the rising number of homeless people, some of whom sleep rough on city sidewalks and beneath overpasses, infuriating even the most liberal voters in the nation’s most populous state.

Mayors, county officials, many of whom are Democrats, and proponents of affordable housing resisted his attempt to withhold funding, arguing that doing so would be ineffective given the need for shelter beds, outreach workers, and other services for the homeless. They begged the governor for clearer guidelines as well as ongoing, guaranteed funds to develop more ambitious goals.

“This is the most important problem facing our state and Californians as a whole. Budgets are about priorities, and in my opinion, we should treat this issue as the catastrophe that it is, according to San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria on Friday.

California Governor Plans To Release A $1 Billion Fund To Combat Homelessness

As a former mayor of San Francisco, where tent encampments crowd sidewalks and people in obvious mental health crises are a common sight, Newsom took office in 2019 vowing to own an issue he said he understood intimately. In California, addressing homelessness has traditionally been left to local governments.

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Because of the state’s high cost of housing and historically low level of home construction, there were an estimated 161,000 persons without a place to live in California as of 2020, and this figure is anticipated to rise this year. The number of people losing their homes continues to rise, according to advocates for the homeless, who claim they are unable to keep up.

After state authorities revealed on Wednesday that California will probably have a $25 billion budget deficit next year after a run of historic surpluses, the prospect of a distinct funding source for homelessness this week dimmed.

In what was the third round of payments, the state’s 13 largest cities, 58 counties, and 44 organizations that offer services to the homeless filed 75 applications outlining their strategies for spending $1 billion.

A further $1 billion is available, but according to Erin Mellon, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, Newsom won’t give it out until those governments promise “to be more aggressive across the board.” In two weeks, the plans are due.

Additionally, candidates must pledge to put as many best practices into action as they can, such as speeding up the construction of additional low-income and extremely low-income housing and developing more effective strategies for getting people assistance and housing.

Since many California cities and counties claim they don’t want the traffic and neighborhood changes that come with additional residents, they have been hesitant to create more housing, especially cheap housing.

The Newsom administration is also taking tough measures against local governments that refuse to expand, opening investigations and bringing legal actions to compel development.

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