Mayors seek $1.5 billion from California to help homeless
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Mayors from California’s eleven largest cities on Wednesday asked state lawmakers to provide $1.5 billion to help with what they say is a growing homeless crisis.
They are backing legislation that would require the cities to provide matching funds, creating a $3 billion pot of money to be spent on affordable housing, temporary shelters, supportive services and outreach.
They said in an earlier letter to legislative leaders that lawmakers should use a quarter of the state’s $6.1 billion budget surplus to help the homeless.
San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer called it “the most pressing issue facing California cities today.”
The mayors cited a 2017 federal estimate that the most populous state now has more than 134,000 homeless people.
Their request came the same day that two Democratic state senators announced they will seek $2 billion for affordable housing, also in response to the mayors’ requests.
The bipartisan group includes mayors from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Long Beach, Sacramento, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim and Santa Ana.
The proposals come less than six months after Gov. Jerry Brown signed 15 housing bills into law. They imposed a new $75 real estate transaction fee and placed a $4 billion housing bond on the November ballot.