Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, gathered local officials on Friday to discuss their methods for addressing the state’s growing homeless population and to develop fresh approaches to dealing with encampments on the streets. This conference was called after Newsom abruptly rejected the homeless action plans submitted by every municipality, withholding $1 billion in funds.
The third round of Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) subsidies for local governments whose proposals, taken together, would only reduce statewide unsheltered homelessness by 2% by 2024 was revealed earlier this month by Newsom. Grants could be released as early as this week, under the conditions that local governments agree to more ambitious reductions in unsheltered homelessness, according to a plan established by Newsom on Friday in collaboration with cities and counties for applicants to receive their HHAP round three funding. The Governor urged municipal officials to submit more ambitious proposals for their upcoming financing round; as of Friday, 21 had made written commitments to do so. The state anticipates that the remaining candidates will follow suit.
We were able to speak openly and exchange some useful ideas during this crucial session, according to Newsom. Local officials discussed the need for increased city-county cooperation, greater land use reforms to speed up the construction of housing, and an emphasis on keeping individuals housed who may be on the verge of homelessness. These leaders are our partners, and we all understand that we are in this together.
Each county, continuum of care, and the state’s 13 largest cities will get a share of $1 billion in HHAP subsidies in the third round if their local governments have a state-approved plan in place to decrease the number of unsheltered homeless people and increase permanent housing. Through the Homeless Emergency Aid Program and the first two rounds of HHAP financing, the state has so far contributed nearly $1.5 billion in flexible emergency aid to alleviate homelessness.
Applications for HHAP round four must be submitted by November 29, 2022.