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Gov. Newsom Agrees to Release $1 Billion for Homelessness

Boise homelessness

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom agreed to release $1 Billion in funding for homelessness after withholding it. 

Local governments will have until November 29th to submit a plan on how they will use the money to combat homelessness before receiving it 

Why was the Money Withheld? 

Earlier this month, Gov. Newsom withheld the third round of funding for the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program (HHAP) for local governments. 

He decided to put a pause on sending the money after the local government’s plans collectively would only reduce statewide homelessness by 2% over the next four years. In response, Gov. Newsom met with city and county leaders to encourage more aggressive plans. 

In the call, the three main goals discussed were: 

  • Increase in city-county collaboration 
  • Land use reforms to build housing faster
  • Keeping those on the brink of homelessness housed

Following the meeting, Newsom stated that “it was nice to hear [local officials] progress”, however, not everyone in the meeting was convinced it was successful

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardi was unsure of what came from the meeting and said he “did not hear any specific policy changes.” 

Regardless, Gov. Newsom’s desire for more aggressive planning on homelessness is good to hear. 

However, the lack of aggressive planning isn’t the only reason for Newsom withholding funds. After years of having a budget surplus, fiscal analysts expect California to have a $24 billion deficit in 2023

In addition, with the possibility of a looming recession, it is understandable that Newsom would only want to release the money if it can bring actual change. 

Cities and counties will have until November 29th to submit their new plans if they want to qualify for HHAP round four funding. 

To learn about the latest updates in the homelessness crisis, keep up with BOMA on the Frontline

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