San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined the mayors of 10 other large cities in California and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers on Wednesday to introduce legislation that would allocate $1.5 billion to help cities address the growing homeless crisis.
“Homelessness is not just an issue. It is the most pressing issue facing California cities today,” Faulconer said. “Cities are responding to this crisis with more local resources and programs, and we need support from our partners in the Capitol, too. We are asking State leaders to help us make a real difference on our streets.”
California’s homeless population has seen year-to-year increases of 13 percent in 2016 and nearly 14 percent in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In response to the surge, cities across the state have utilized their general fund resources and local voter-passed revenue measures to provide housing, shelter, supportive services and outreach to people experiencing homelessness.
“Homelessness is first and foremost a humanitarian crisis, but it is also the single greatest threat to the economic prosperity, opportunity and growth our cities are fighting for,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We are on the front lines of providing compassionate and effective solutions to this issue, and we request that our state partners make alleviating homelessness in our cities an even greater priority.”
The new legislation, Assembly bill 3171, calls for one-time funds to be allocated to cities on a matching basis, resulting in more than $3 billion in collective State and local funds to meaningfully address one of the most intractable issues facing cities.
“Last year, I fought to get billions appropriated in our state budget to fight homelessness across California, but we have so much more work to do,” said Ting, who is also chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “Homelessness is a state crisis, but we cannot do it alone. This year, we need to identify resources to partner with cities to build more shelters and augment additional services so we can get people off our streets and into shelter as fast as possible.”
The California Big 11 Mayors is a bipartisan group comprised of the most populous cities in the state — Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Long Beach, Sacramento, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim and Santa Ana.
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