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Newsom signs $12B funding package to support housing for homeless residents

California also plans to spend $10.3B on developing affordable units

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks about the state's multibillion dollar budget to support the unhoused and anyone with unpaid rent due to the pandemic, during a tour of LifeMoves Mountain View on June 25, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $12 billion funding package for housing and homelessness Monday, the largest such investment in sheltering and supporting homeless residents in the state's history.

The funding, which will be used over the next two years, will support efforts across the state to spur housing construction and the expansion of mental health services at the local level.

The state will use $5.8 billion of the funding to convert more than 42,000 hotel and motel rooms into housing units specifically for homeless residents and people struggling with severe mental health conditions.

The state launched the hotel room conversion program, known as Homekey, last year in a partnership with the federal government that enabled the state to reimburse the costs of acquiring hotel and motel properties.

Speaking at a Homekey site in Sebastopol, Newsom acknowledged that the state's strategies in recent years to help homeless residents get off the streets have been failures.

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"The state of California, with all due respect, has been nowhere to be found on the issue of homelessness for far too long," he said.

Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore said state and local governments have played "whack-a-mole" with homelessness over the last three decades with little to show for it.

"We have never encountered such an issue as homelessness, where everybody wants it fixed but nobody wants to be inconvenienced by the solution," he said.

In addition to the $12 billion funding package for homelessness, the state also plans to spend $10.3 billion on developing affordable housing units.

Newsom argued that the state plans to be more proactive in tying funding to whether local governments are actively housing homeless residents rather than simply throwing money at the problem.

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"There's six metrics that counties have to meet, and if you meet them we're actually attaching bonuses, an 18% bonus opportunity, for actually delivering on the plan," he said. "No plan, no money."

Roughly $2 billion of the funding package will be paid to local governments through Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention grants, which have specific accountability measures that grant recipients must meet.

Since being elected in 2018, Newsom has frequently reiterated his intent to spur more housing development and, in turn, help homeless residents get off the streets.

Last year, just a month before the state shut down in March due to the pandemic, Newsom even went so far as to devote his entire State of the State address to issues of housing and homelessness.

In that time, however, the state's revenue used to tackle issues like homelessness has fluctuated wildly, from a projected $54.3 billion deficit last spring to a surplus of nearly $80 billion earlier this year.

But while the funding package Newsom approved Monday is only a one-time expenditure, the governor said he plans to forge ahead with spending on housing and homelessness in future years.

"So long as I'm governor of California, that's not going to be an issue," he said.

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Newsom signs $12B funding package to support housing for homeless residents

California also plans to spend $10.3B on developing affordable units

by /

Uploaded: Tue, Jul 20, 2021, 8:45 am

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $12 billion funding package for housing and homelessness Monday, the largest such investment in sheltering and supporting homeless residents in the state's history.

The funding, which will be used over the next two years, will support efforts across the state to spur housing construction and the expansion of mental health services at the local level.

The state will use $5.8 billion of the funding to convert more than 42,000 hotel and motel rooms into housing units specifically for homeless residents and people struggling with severe mental health conditions.

The state launched the hotel room conversion program, known as Homekey, last year in a partnership with the federal government that enabled the state to reimburse the costs of acquiring hotel and motel properties.

Speaking at a Homekey site in Sebastopol, Newsom acknowledged that the state's strategies in recent years to help homeless residents get off the streets have been failures.

"The state of California, with all due respect, has been nowhere to be found on the issue of homelessness for far too long," he said.

Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore said state and local governments have played "whack-a-mole" with homelessness over the last three decades with little to show for it.

"We have never encountered such an issue as homelessness, where everybody wants it fixed but nobody wants to be inconvenienced by the solution," he said.

In addition to the $12 billion funding package for homelessness, the state also plans to spend $10.3 billion on developing affordable housing units.

Newsom argued that the state plans to be more proactive in tying funding to whether local governments are actively housing homeless residents rather than simply throwing money at the problem.

"There's six metrics that counties have to meet, and if you meet them we're actually attaching bonuses, an 18% bonus opportunity, for actually delivering on the plan," he said. "No plan, no money."

Roughly $2 billion of the funding package will be paid to local governments through Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention grants, which have specific accountability measures that grant recipients must meet.

Since being elected in 2018, Newsom has frequently reiterated his intent to spur more housing development and, in turn, help homeless residents get off the streets.

Last year, just a month before the state shut down in March due to the pandemic, Newsom even went so far as to devote his entire State of the State address to issues of housing and homelessness.

In that time, however, the state's revenue used to tackle issues like homelessness has fluctuated wildly, from a projected $54.3 billion deficit last spring to a surplus of nearly $80 billion earlier this year.

But while the funding package Newsom approved Monday is only a one-time expenditure, the governor said he plans to forge ahead with spending on housing and homelessness in future years.

"So long as I'm governor of California, that's not going to be an issue," he said.

Comments

Bob
Registered user
Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 20, 2021 at 12:28 pm
Bob, Greendell/Walnut Grove
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Since California’s homeless population was reliably published as 162,000 in 2020, and figures for this year won’t be available for months, let’s estimate that it has grown at the same rate as in 2019-2020. That comes out to about 175,000, so $12 billion represents about $69,000 per homeless person.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 20, 2021 at 12:33 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 12:33 pm

Bob, and your question is? It is inhumane to leave people and families on the street! This is great news from Newsom!


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2021 at 3:25 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Is it just my imagination or has Newsom turned on the money firehose in a desperate attempt to influence voters to prevent his recall? To me, his recent behavior borders upon fiscal corruption with taxpayers' money. Still, if Cox is the viable alternative, I'll be forced to vote for Newsom even though I view him as incompetent, weak-willed, and totally clueless in his two-faced response to Covid-19. He is not a leader. He merely seeks special interest and identity politics groups' political support. Guess that's the "SF Way".


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2021 at 3:30 pm
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 3:30 pm

The desperation is palpable. Gav will say and do anything to keep his job. Recall Newsom now. Let's all show him that Californians are tired of his inability to govern effectively. Let's show him that all Californians matter, not just teacher unions, service worker unions, government employee unions and his wealthy democrat donors. Lets show him that our failing public education system matters and needs fixing from the top down. Let's show him that he doesn't deserve to be our governor.


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