Unhoused woman in downtown Los Angeles
 

As voters cast ballots in the last few days leading up to California’s Nov. 8 election, who will they blame for the state’s persistent housing and homelessness crises?

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s surprise Thursday announcement — that he’s withholding $1 billion in state homelessness funding until local governments and service providers come up with more ambitious plans to reduce the number of people living on the streets — seems to serve as an implicit reminder to Californians that he isn’t the only one responsible for the state’s ballooning homeless population, which grew by at least 22,500 during the pandemic.

Newsom said the local plans would reduce street homelessness by just 2% statewide by 2024 — a figure that is “simply unacceptable.” He also slammed some regions for estimating their homeless populations would grow by double digits in four years, and said he plans to meet with local leaders in mid-November to review the state’s approach to homelessness and identify more effective strategies.

This article was republished with permission from CalMatters.  You can read more of their coverage of California state government on CalMatters.org

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