Story at a glance

  • On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new funding program to provide homes for people experiencing homelessness.
  • California has the highest number of homeless residents in the U.S.
  • The goal is to create 46,000 new affordable housing units.

As part of California’s economic jump-start campaign, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a major investment Tuesday into the state’s homeless population.

Newsom introduced a $12 billion dollar project that works to end family homelessness and provide financial support for rent and other housing costs. 

The funding will partially go into projects, called Project Roomkey and Project Homekey, which have previously housed 36,000 Californians and created about 6,000 affordable housing units, and will receive additional funding. 

Under the project, $7 billion will be allocated specifically to Homekey, which Newsom established during the pandemic to fund local government initiatives that help provide homes for people experiencing homelessness. The program purchases hotels and other buildings to convert into permanent and affordable residences.

In total, the initiative aims to create 46,000 new housing units for homeless Californians.

“What we're doing here today is multiples of what any state in American history has committed to to address this crisis of homelessness straight on,” Newsom said in the  press conference.

More specifically, the plan directs $447 million directed toward alleviating homelessness on college campuses, and another $3.5 billion aimed at tackling family homelessness within five years.

Recent statistics note that 151,000 Californians are experiencing homelessness as of 2019 data, the most of any state in the country. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the state provided $100 million in emergency funding to cities and counties for shelter support and emergency housing to prevent the spread of the virus.


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Published on May 11, 2021