Council Helps Push Record State Investments to Fight Homelessness

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The budget Gov. Newsom signed last week commits a record $12 billion over the next two years to fight homelessness, and came just three weeks after the Bay Area Council used a new report on regional homelessness from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute to launch a concerted media and advocacy campaign to urge state leaders to use California’s record surplus to go big tackling the state’s homeless crisis. While most of the spending priorities will be clarified in budget trailer bills in the following weeks, the budget will provide at least $2 billion over the next two years to California’s largest cities to help expand shelter and housing services.

A large portion of the remaining funds are expected to expand Project Homekey, which used $750 million in state, federal, and philanthropic funds to house over 6,000 homeless Californians in less than one year. The budget also commits $20 million to kick start the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, a regional agency created in 2019 to generate regional funding for very-low-income housing and homeless services. In addition to increased general fund support for homeless, the new Economic Institute report also recommends using the Housing Finance Authority to create a regional funding source for expanding shelters and housing options for the Bay Area’s extremely-low-income households. To engage with the Council’s Homelessness Committee, please contact Senior Policy Associate Anna Sciaruto.

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