SACRAMENTO, CA (KMJ) – Governor Gavin Newsom kicks off a week-long tour — boots on the ground — addressing the state’s homelessness crisis.
He’s making stops from the Bay area to Los Angeles County and here in the Central Valley.
Governor Newsom says every corner of our state has too many people living on the streets.
“Homelessness is a national crisis, one that’s spreading across the West Coast and cities across the country. The state of California is treating it as a real emergency – because it is one,” Newsom said in a statement, describing his budget proposal on homelessness a “massive infusion of state dollars.”
Newsom says it takes an unprecedented level of partnership between local, state, and federal government.
“The most important thing the federal government can do is address the fair market rent issue on the housing choice vouchers. The cost of living in California is such that the value of the vouchers is inadequate to meet the rental needs which is why a lot of the vouchers are unused. And since the Trump administration will not provide more money to increase the value of the vouchers — the state will do it. And when it comes to health care, California already provides healthcare coverage to the undocumented up to 26 at a cost of about 98-million dollars a year. This new budget includes expanding that to include those 65 and older regardless of immigration status at an added cost of 100-million-per-year. We believe universal healthcare lowers the cost for everybody. We believe the evidence bares that out. We believe it’s the right thing to do morally and ethically. We also believe it is the financially responsible thing to do.”
In his historic 222-billion-dollar budget, Newsom announced $1.4 billion in homeless response funding, including $750 million for his new Access to Housing and Services Fund, for rent and the building of affordable housing.
This week, he will visit some of the cities and counties partnering for immediate impact solutions to tackle homelessness.
Click to listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: