Gov. Gavin Newsom committed to spending tens of millions of dollars to over one thousand “tiny homes” across California Thursday in an attempt to curtail the Golden State’s rampant homelessness problem.
The Governor announced that a total of 1,200 condensed living enclosures will be built and spread out across four California cities with the intent to clear out some of the many homeless encampment domains that haunt several cities across the state, according to The Associated Press. The state-funded living spaces are poised to boast electricity but lack running water, plumbing and appliances. The cost for the new tiny home program comes to $30,000,000.
NEW: I am enlisting the National Guard to help deploy 1200 small homes across four counties in our state to help immediately get more folks off our streets and into the housing they need.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 16, 2023
During Newsom’s tenure as Governor that began in 2019, his gubernatorial administration has spent $22.3 billion on combatting homelessness and housing projects. (RELATED: Massachusetts Gov. Seeks To Allocate $28,000,000 To Implement Policy Allowing Illegal Immigrants To Get Driver’s Licenses)
One third of all homeless people in the U.S. dwell in California, the outlet noted.
The announcement took place at a Sacramento speech as part of Newsom’s four-city tour intended to compensate for the fact that the Democrat won’t be giving a standard State of the State address this year.
I’m here at Cal Expo in Sacramento where @GavinNewsom will be announcing a plan to purchase 1,200 tiny homes for deployment in four major California cities, including Sacramento.
More info here: https://t.co/UoqImL0fKw pic.twitter.com/Xzk0wEITVv
— Maggie Angst (@MaggieAngst) March 16, 2023
“We need to focus more energy and precision on addressing encampments,” Newsom said. “There’s no humanity there. People are dying on our watch.”
(VIDEO) Drone footage from California shows homeless encampment on a street in West Oakland
Homeless population in California is the 3rd largest in US state with tens of thousands of people pic.twitter.com/VNRMNnWCoz
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) March 1, 2023
Federal judges have ruled that the only way cities can clear out homeless encampments is if they can provide adequate alternative sheltering options. Otherwise, city encampment eradication efforts are deemed unlawful, according to The AP.
“It’s not just about sweeping things under the rug or kicking people off the streets and sidewalks and claiming a job well done,” the Democrat said. “That doesn’t do justice.”
“If you look around the world at places that have gotten a handle on this challenge, it’s because they’ve scaled up safe places for people to go,” Newsom continued. (RELATED: Gavin Newsom’s Wineries Get Rescued By Biden Bailout He Praised)
Four California cities can expect and must prepare for the development of the miniature living spaces set to provide their homeless collectives with housing: Sacramento will receive 350 of the tiny homes. San Jose is poised to get 200. San Diego can expect the least of the lot at 150. Lastly, Los Angelas was granted the highest allocation of tiny homes at 500.
Even though the state will assume building costs concerning the initial construction of the tiny homes, the obligation of maintaining and cleaning them long-term lies within each of the city government bodies. It is also up to each city to find plots of space to be designated for the incoming homeless housing and thus determine where exactly location-wise the construction should break ground respectively.
The executive director for the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, Bob Erlenbusch, characterized Gov. Newsom’s Thursday newest homeless housing plan as a “modest step forward.” Erlenbusch provided The AP with a ballpark estimate that the hundreds of homes expected to be built in Sacramento specifically will serve to shelter some 10% of the homeless populace of the city. (RELATED: California Homeless Encampments Violate Disability Rights, Federal Lawsuit Says)
“I wish that elected officials, not only the governor but up and down the state, would have a broader perspective in terms of trying to approach our homeless crisis and affordable housing crisis with a sense of scale rather than a 10% solution,” the executive director elaborated further.
During the Thursday announcement address, Newsom alluded to the fact that the roll out of the miniature-sized housing program will not solve the California homeless problem (the worst in the country) overnight, according to The AP.