As California contends with dramatic increases in its homeless population, Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders agreed Thursday to send hundreds of millions of dollars to local governments to help address the problem while also cajoling cities and counties to allow more housing development.
The deal, which the Legislature could vote on as early as Monday, gives Los Angeles and a dozen of California’s other largest cities $275 million in state grants to help address homelessness. Counties would receive an additional $175 million, and $190 million more would go to regional agencies known as “continuums of care,” which coordinate services for the homeless across the state.
Newsom made addressing the state’s rising housing costs one of his top priorities on the campaign trail, and he has singled out resistance to residential development from cities and counties as one of the key reasons the state doesn’t have enough homes available.
Thursday’s agreement takes initial steps in dealing with that concern by giving more state housing dollars to local governments that make it easier for developers to build. The proposal also adds harsh penalties, including fines of $100,000 or more a month, in the most extreme cases of cities and counties refusing for years to follow state requirements to accommodate new growth.
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