Report: California ‘Entirely’ Responsible for Nation’s Rise in Homelessness

Los Angeles Homeless (Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty)
Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Friday that the nation’s homeless population rose 2.7% as of January 2019, an increase it said was “entirely” driven by a rise of 16.4% in the state of California.

The Associated Press reported:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is reporting its third consecutive increase in its homelessness projection, based on a summary of its annual report obtained by the Associated Press.

President Trump has been highly critical of the homeless problem in California, and HUD said the increase seen in its January snapshot was caused “entirely” by a 16.4% increase in the state’s homeless population.

“As we look across our nation, we see great progress, but we’re also seeing a continued increase in street homelessness along our West Coast where the cost of housing is extremely high,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “In fact, homelessness in California is at a crisis level and needs to be addressed by local and state leaders with crisis-like urgency.”

In the January 2018 count, almost 553,000 people were counted as homeless. That number rose to about 568,000 this year.

The number of homeless veterans, and the number of homeless families with children, dropped.

It is not clear whether the rise in California is wholly California’s fault. Homeless people from other states often relocate to California, partly because the winter weather is more tolerable (though also because of generous welfare benefits).

President Donald Trump has proposed federal intervention in California to help solve the problem. HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently visited the state to assess the problem.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom told Breitbart News on Thursday evening that the homeless crisis is “an embarrassment, it is unacceptable. And we’ve got to own it, we’ve got to own up and solve it.”

Joel B. Pollak

However, he has pushed back against federal intervention, saying more federal money is needed, but not federal control.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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