As California Gov. Newsom invited the world’s homeless to the state, millions of dollars in funds dedicated to the homelessness crisis in California go underutilized.
As the homeless population continues to grow in California, concerns are arising about the improper use of the state’s funds and resources that are being dedicated to the homelessness crisis. California is still actively allocating money and resources to homelessness related programs despite these programs not utilizing what’s already been given by the state.
The state budget provided a total of $7.2 billion ($3.3 billion general fund) in 2021-2022 to about 30 different homelessness-related programs across various state departments throughout California. Yet hundreds of affordable housing units stand empty across the state.
In San Francisco, more than 100 mixed-income residential buildings are struggling to fill their more affordable units, according to a recent report from the Board of Supervisors Budget and Legislative Analyst. This report reveals that as of April 4th, 15% of the city’s below market rate apartments are currently vacant. This new information has raised concern due to the large amount of money that has been allocated to California’s homelessness crisis in the past couple of years.
Similar to San Francisco, Los Angeles is also scrambling to combat the homelessness crisis. Within the Los Angeles Mayoral primary race, there have been multiple accounts of candidates stating that they would like to see more beds built for the homeless. Candidates are saying they want to see thousands of new beds, but with the lack of use from beds and units we are seeing, the question of whether or not these proposed new beds will be used or not continues to be the topic of the conversation.
With so much of the state’s funds being dedicated to this crisis, the rise in the homeless population, and hundreds of empty housing units throughout California, the concern for misused resources and money remains.
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