California Asks Trump Administration to Release Money to Fight Homelessness

by Reuters


SACRAMENTO, California – In the latest skirmish over California’s homeless crisis, the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, asked President Donald Trump on Thursday to stop withholding federal housing vouchers that could benefit 50,000 homeless people.

Newsom told Trump he could “immediately order” the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue federal housing vouchers, a program to assist low-income families, the elderly and the disabled find affordable homes in the private market.

“With a single stroke of your pen, you can make a major, positive impact on homelessness right away,” the Democratic governor said in a statement issued by his office.

An estimated 130,000 people are homeless in California on any given day, more than any other state, HUD says.

Trump has pummeled California officials for months about the state’s growing homeless problem. On a visit to San Francisco and Los Angeles in September, the Republican president said people living on the street were hurting the “prestige” of those cities and sympathized with homeowners whose property values or quality of life could be hit by homelessness.

The issue is just one front in a battle between the Trump administration and the leaders of the most-populous U.S. state.

They have also locked horns over auto emissions, high-speed rail funding, building a U.S.-Mexico border wall and immigration regulations.

Newsom on Wednesday allocated $650 million directly to counties and cities to address homelessness across the state, saying he was frustrated with the federal government’s slow process in allowing him to release the state funds.

The money has been held up waiting for HUD to certify an annual “point-in-time” count of homeless people on a single morning in January. The count is used to determine funding allocations.

HUD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But on a visit to Los Angeles in September, HUD Secretary Ben Carson rejected requests from California for more money to fight homelessness, saying the Trump administration was already doing its part and that “state and local policies have played a major role in the current crisis” in California.

Earlier this week, Newsom hired an official that Trump had fired amid a dispute over White House proposals to deal with homelessness in California. Matthew Doherty, who had served as director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness during the Obama and Trump administrations, will now advise Newsom on the issue.





VOA News


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3 Thoughts to “California Asks Trump Administration to Release Money to Fight Homelessness”

  1. CCW

    Trump should tell Nancy’s nephew to keep the money CA stole from Feds for their “north-south” bullet train project, and use that for their “homeless” project. CA Sacramento has steadfastly refused to return any of the “Bullet Train” project money after they cancelled the original scope of the project. Also CA continues to get FEMA funds for their mostly self-generated in-state disasters. FEMA paid 70% of Oroville Dam repair project.
    See: CA sues feds for decision to pull funds from high-speed …
    “May 21, 2019 · California on Tuesday filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s plans to terminate a grant of nearly $1 billion for the state’s high-speed rail project. The lawsuit, filed in federal …”
    Also CA continues to get FEMA funds for their mostly self-generated in-state disasters. FEMA paid 70% of Oroville Dam repair project.

  2. Ralph

    California: You made your bed (or sleeping bag as it were), now sleep in it.

    The state’s constitution is a laughing stock as is its politics and policies. It has adopted policies and laws that attract freeloaders, illegal aliens, drunks and drug addicts. Even were that not the case, the state would need to be more aggressive for the simple matter of its climatology. If you’re going to be out on the street, better to do so in 60 degree weather with sunshine than 20 degree and sleet.

    This is the state that sends to Washington clowns like Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and Adam Shiff, aka Barney Google. Nope, you got your share at the HUD trough, more than your share really, work the rest out for yourselves.

    New York actually leads the nation in homeless, but you don’t hear them wailing about it to the extent you do California, which acts like nothing so much as a spoiled, petulant teenager whose credit card was taken away.

    But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. 332 days to November 4th, 2020; right around the corner. The gloves will be coming off then.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Well stated, Ralph.