Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that he will be holding off on providing California with a third round of funds for homelessness until local leaders meet later this month to identify new strategies to better address the issue.
“Californians demand accountability and results, not settling for the status quo,” Newsom said in a news release. “As a state, we are failing to meet the urgency of this moment.
The governor said submitted plans to address the issue would reduce homelessness by only 2% over four years. He called that approach “unacceptable” and demanded that local leaders “do better.”
Until the meeting in mid-November, Newsom said he will pause the latest round of Homelessness Housing, Assistance and Prevention grants.
The grants provide a share of $1 billion to every county and the 13 largest cities in the state, on the condition that each local government has a plan approved by the state to reduce the number of unhoused individuals and also increase permanent housing, officials explained.
So far, California has provided more than $1.5 billion of flexible emergency aid to address the growing issue.
To receive the third round of funding, the state is asking local jurisdictions to come up with a Homelessness Action Plan to detail what they will do to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness and efforts to prevent it.
“The plans must include a landscape analysis that assesses the current number of people experiencing homelessness in a given community and identify all existing programs, and all sources of funding aimed at tackling this crisis,” officials laid out. “Additionally, the plans must include outcome-driven results and strategies for achieving these goals using clear metrics to track success.”
Newsom’s office touted the governor’s “unprecedented” efforts to combat homelessness, including Project Roomkey and Homekey.
According to the state, Project Roomkey led to sheltering more than 60,000 people since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while Homekey has funded 12,500 housing units since the program began in late 2020.