California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $12 billion program to combat the state’s homelessness crisis, CBS News reports.
Newsom’s plan would invest $9 billion in housing projects and $3 billion in services that support people coming out of homelessness.
The state has an estimated 161,000 homeless people, more than any state.
"This is an order of magnitude investment into transforming the homeless crisis in the state of California, to one of America's most enlivening stories with the support and examples of people who are demonstrable proof that homelessness can end in our society," Newsom said this week.
Los Angeles City councilmen Mark Ridley-Thomas and Kevin de Leon praised the plan.
De Leon said the proposal "will mean the difference between having a home and sleeping on the street for thousands of Angelenos.”
The plan includes $8.75 billion to expand a state program launched amid the coronavirus pandemic to convert hotel and motel rooms and other properties into housing for the homeless.
About half of that sum would be used to create housing that includes on-site mental health services and other social services.
The rest of the funds would be used to provide new housing and rental support for families.
Newsom said that the $800 million spent on the program last year using federal funds created 6,000 new housing units and provided shelter for 8,200 people.
Newsom rolls out big spending plan:
The homelessness plan is part of a larger $100 billion “California Comeback Plan” that Newsom announced after the state saw a surprising budget surplus despite the pandemic.
The details of the rest of the plan are unclear but it will include stimulus checks for about two-thirds of Californians.
Newsom also plans to ask the legislature to expand child care in the state.
Since the surplus is a one-time thing, the plans are unlikely to include long-term spending.
The plan comes as Newsom faces a recall election but is expected to hold on to his job.