Letter: Legislators Call for Permanent Place in the State Budget for Homelessness Programs and Affordable Housing

California State Capitol

California State Capitol

Dear Chairs Ting and Skinner,

In the spirit of a strong state and local government partnership that benefits all Californians, we the undersigned Members respectfully ask for your consideration for a permanent funding stream of $3 billion annually for cities to help Californians find homes and prevent more Californians from having to live on the streets, under bridges, or in their cars.

A recent statewide survey by the League of California Cities underscores why this funding is so essential to helping cities serve those experiencing homelessness in their communities. According to the survey results, 84% of cities have implemented various programs aimed at address homelessness. Nearly 90% of cities have fiscal concerns over providing existing homelessness services long term. Alarmingly, 1 in 4 cities reported having to divert funding from unrelated city programs to support homelessness programs and services. Despite the concerted efforts of local governments, the number of individuals entering homelessness continues to surpass the capacity of these initiatives to effectively support individuals transitioning out of homelessness.

One-time funding inhibits cities’ long-term planning efforts and stifles more ambitious statewide goals. An ongoing investment of $3 billion from the state would have transformative effects, generating crucial housing production and providing vital support to thousands of Californians currently experiencing homelessness. Most significantly, such funding would play a pivotal role in preventing thousands more individuals from losing their homes in the first place. By replacing the outdated patchwork funding approach with a dedicated commitment to ongoing state funding, cities across California can establish an accountable oversight system for implementing effective homelessness programs.

With the slowing economy, stubbornly high inflation, and the threat of another potential recession, we know that more of our residents could lose their homes and join the growing ranks of the unhoused. Together, we affirm that all Californians deserve a place to live.

The collaboration of all levels of government is of utmost importance to advancing the shared state and local goals of addressing homelessness, ultimately leading to the creation of robust and prosperous communities that benefit all Californians. I look forward to working with you and the League of California Cities to realize a strengthened partnership that will significantly improve the quality of life for all residents of California

Sincerely,

SHARON QUIRK-SILVA
BUFFY WICKS
STEPHANIE NGUYEN
BILL DODD
COREY A. JACKSON
HEATH FLORA
LORI D. WILSON
CATHERINE BLAKESPEAR
MIKE A. GIPSON
MARC BERMAN
LAURIE DAVIES
THOMAS J. UMBERG
PILAR SCHIAVO
ROSILICIE OCHOA BOGH
DAWN ADDIS
BLANCA PACHECO
LENA A. GONZELEZ
TRI TA
SUSAN RUBIO
BOB ARCHULETA
JANET NGUYEN
BLANCA E. RUBIO
SCOTT WILK
STEVEN BRADFORD

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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