Move comes weeks after Governor holds funds citing lackluster plans to tackle homelessness
California Governor Gavin Newsom Friday convened local leaders to discuss their plans to tackle the homelessness crisis and identify new strategies to address street encampments across the state. This meeting came after Newsom withheld $1 billion in funding by summarily rejecting every municipality’s homeless action plan.
Earlier this month, Newsom announced the state was holding the third round of Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) grants for local governments whose plans, collectively, would only reduce statewide unsheltered homelessness by 2 percent by 2024. Newsom on Friday, in partnership with cities and counties, set a path forward for applicants to receive their HHAP round three funding, with grants being released as early as this week – provided that local governments agree to more ambitious reductions in unsheltered homelessness. The Governor challenged local leaders to submit more ambitious plans for their next round of funding – 21 as of Friday have pledged to step up in writing. The state is expecting the remaining applicants will do the same.
“This was an important conversation that allowed us to speak with candor and to share some good ideas with one another,” Newsom said. “Local leaders talked about the need for more city-county collaboration, more land use reforms to build housing faster, and to focus on keeping people housed who may be on the brink of homelessness — these leaders are our partners, and we all recognize we’re in this together.”
The third round of HHAP grants provides a share of $1 billion to every county, Continuum of Care, and the 13 largest cities in the state, on the condition that each local government has a plan approved by the state that reduces the number of unsheltered homeless individuals and increases permanent housing. The state has so far provided over $1.5 billion of flexible emergency aid to address homelessness through the Homeless Emergency Aid Program and the first two rounds of HHAP funding.
HHAP round four applications are due by November 29, 2022.