California Cities Push for Stable Funding to Address Homelessness

Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California’s mayors are pushing for a more consistent source of funding to address the state’s homelessness crisis. On Wednesday, the mayors of the 13 largest cities in the state convened at the state Capitol to urge legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom to provide local governments with a stable source of funding to address housing and homelessness.

The mayors, led by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, requested that the state dedicate $2 billion annually to the state’s homeless housing prevention and assistance grant program. This program provides grants to California’s largest cities and every county, but the funding for it fluctuates from year to year. The mayors also requested $1.5 billion for the state program that converts vacant buildings, such as hotels and motels, into housing.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg emphasized the need for a “true partnership” between the state and local governments, noting that it is the only way to help more people and make streets feel safer and cleaner. He noted that the public demands action on the state’s housing and homelessness issues.

The mayors’ requests come weeks after two groups representing California cities and counties requested $3 billion in continued funding to address the state’s housing and homelessness issues. The request also follows Governor Newsom’s announcement that he and the Legislature will have to adjust spending due to an estimated $31.5 billion budget shortfall.

Given the persistent demand for action, and the need to provide stable funding to local governments, it is crucial that the state government prioritizes addressing the homelessness crisis. The mayors have laid out a clear plan of action, and it is now up to the state to follow through with the resources needed to make meaningful progress.