California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) halted $1 billion in funding for homelessness initiatives throughout the state on Thursday, calling the current approach “unacceptable.”
“Californians demand accountability and results, not settling for the status quo,” Newsom said in a statement. “As a state, we are failing to meet the urgency of this moment.”
He said the state would put the third round of funding from the Homelessness Housing, Assistance and Prevention program on hold until he meets with local leaders to discuss new strategies to address the state’s homelessness crisis.
The first two rounds of the grants provided $650 million and $300 million each to local jurisdictions to combat homelessness. However, counties and the 13 largest cities in the state were required to submit plans for the $1 billion third round of funding.
Newsom slammed local leaders on Thursday over their plans, which he said would have a cumulative effect of reducing homelessness by 2 percent over four years. Some local plans even reflected “double-digit increases in homelessness over four years,” the California governor added.
“At this pace, it would take decades to significantly curb homelessness in California — this approach is simply unacceptable,” Newsom added. “Everyone has to do better — cities, counties, and the state included. We are all in this together.”
Newsom called for a meeting with local leaders later this month to coordinate an approach with “more substantial results.”