Gavin Newsom to Spend $12 Billion on Homeless; Promises to Solve ‘Family Homelessness’ in 5 Years

Gavin Newsom (Nick Ut / Associated Press)
Nick Ut / Associated Press

California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan Tuesday to spend $12 billion on homelessness in his state as part of his $100 billion “California Comeback Plan,” promising to solve the problem of “family homelessness” within five years.

Newsom’s approach will build on the state’s temporary strategy during the coronavirus pandemic, which involved spending money to house homeless people in hotel rooms — and, eventually, purchasing some hotel and apartment buildings for them.

He did not explain how California would prevent such a program from enticing more homeless people to move to the state, nor how the state would confront the mental health and substance abuse challenges from which many homeless people suffer.

In a statement, Newsom’s office said:

Governor Newsom’s $12 billion plan to tackle the issue of homelessness will be the largest investment of its kind in California history. This investment will provide 65,000 people with housing placements, more than 300,000 people with housing stability and create 46,000 new housing units.

To build on the success of Homekey – a revolutionary program that provided safe shelter from COVID-19 to 36,000 Californians and created 6,000 affordable housing units in record time and at a fraction of the cost – Governor Newsom’s plan includes a massive expansion of Homekey and other similar strategies to get housing up and running quickly, investing $8.75 billion to unlock at least 46,000 new homeless housing units and affordable apartments. The plan focuses on those with the most acute needs, with at least 28,000 new beds and housing placements for clients with behavioral health needs and seniors at the highest risk of homelessness.

The Newsom Administration’s plan also comes with greater accountability and transparency measures, to make sure investments are put toward effective solutions and money is well-spent.

Under the California Comeback Plan, the state seeks to functionally end family homelessness within five years through a new $3.5 billion investment in homelessness prevention, rental support and new housing opportunities for people at risk of homelessness. To achieve this, the Newsom Administration is investing $1.85 billion in new housing for homeless families and $1.6 billion in rental support and homelessness prevention for families.

Critics noted that Newsom was proposing to spend nearly $75,000 per homeless person currently known to be in the state:

California accounted for all of the nation’s increase in homelessness in 2018.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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