Governor Announces New Actions on Homelessness

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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday concluded a weeklong statewide homelessness tour in Oakland, where he announced $38 million for Alameda County to combat the problem and the delivery of 17 state-owned trailers to Oakland to house 70 people. The tour began Monday, the same day his Task Force on Homelessness announced recommendations that included a state constitutional amendment creating a legal requirement that state, cities and counties provide housing for the homeless. Newsom gave encouraging signals on the proposal. As the homelessness crisis escalates, the Governor has put $1 billion in his 2020-21 budget for address the issue and has ordered 100 state-owned properties be turned over to cities and counties for shelters and supportive housing.

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s 2019 report on homelessness identified California’s relative lack of shelter as a key driver of the state’s homeless crisis.  Under the Task Force’s recommendations, Californians would vote on a constitutional amendment to create the local shelter mandate. If approved, cities would have one year to create enforceable plans to shelter the “vast majority” of their homeless populations within an “aggressive but reasonable period of time.” Non-compliant jurisdictions would risk forced-appropriations of their resources and the overriding of siting restrictions, as well as other actions. Tell us what you think by contacting Vice President Adrian Covert.

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