CA Gov. Gavin Newsom announces efforts to confront homelessness

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $12 billion package to combat the state's homelessness crisis. The plan will allocate nearly $9 billion toward more than 46,000 new housing units. (Photo by Gage Skidmore under CC BY-SA 2.0.)

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As a part of his historic California Comeback Plan, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $12 billion package to combat the state’s homelessness crisis Tuesday.

The investment will build on Homekey, a program that provided 36,000 Californians with shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic and created 6,000 affordable housing units. The plan will allocate nearly $9 billion toward more than 46,000 new housing units, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

The plan also includes funding for at least 28,000 housing placements for seniors at risk of homelessness and those with behavioral health needs, the press release added. The California Comeback Plan also contains more than $3 billion in investments directed toward ending family homelessness within five years, the press release noted.

“Within a year, Homekey did more to address the homelessness and affordable housing crisis than anything that’s been done in decades and became a national model,” Newsom said in the press release. “Now is the time to double down on these successful efforts.”

Other goals of Newsom’s plan include moving unhoused people from encampments to more stable housing and providing housing to unhoused or at-risk youth. The plan also includes funds for cleaning public spaces near highways, creating nearly 15,000 jobs for at-risk youth, veterans and formerly incarcerated individuals, according to the press release.

In addition to addressing homelessness, the California Comeback Plan includes funding for direct payments to residents and more than $5 billion allocated for the state’s drought response and water infrastructure.

“That’s the idea behind the Comeback Plan’s homelessness investments – more, faster and with accountability and efficiency stitched into the fabric of these new investments,” Newsom said in the press release.

Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.