California Governor to Cities: Homelessness is a Crisis. “Act Like it.”

Days before facing reelection, Governor Newsom rejected every California locality’s plan for addressing homelessness, calling the proposals inadequate in fighting the massive crisis in a state where over 100,000 people are unhoused.

2 minute read

November 8, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The battle over housing in California continues, with Governor Gavin Newsom—up for reelection today—rejecting every city’s proposed plan to help the growing number of residents experiencing homelessness, reports Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times.

Around the state, local opposition has stymied efforts to build affordable housing. “Time and again, people agree that the current situation is untenable and something’s got to give — as long as they’re not the ones who have to give it,” Chabria explains.

Chabria points out that while the move is “largely symbolic,” it could motivate cities to draft more aggressive plans and imperil hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding that could be withheld until cities and counties put forward more aggressive plans. “Newsom is sending an unexpected but clear message that the relationship between the state and local entities is about to change when it comes to homelessness. He seems genuinely willing to jump onto that third rail of politics, local control — similar to what the administration has done in cracking down on places that refuse to build their fair share of affordable housing.”

In a separate article on CalMatters, Manuela Tobias criticizes Newsom’s own record on housing. Tobias points out that, after campaigning with big promises on housing, “Just 13% of the 3.5 million homes he campaigned on building have been permitted, let alone built.” And while California cracked down on cities over their Regional Housing Needs Assessment plans, some local leaders say the state doesn’t offer enough subsidies and other support to build the needed housing units.

Thursday, November 3, 2022 in Los Angeles Times

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