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Gavin Newsom Is Dreaming If He Thinks This New Plan Will Help the State's Homeless Problem

AP Photo/ Aaron Kehoe

California has the biggest homelessness problem in the country, according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development data released at the end of 2022, with 30 percent of the country's homeless population—or about 172,000—residing in The Golden State. And those numbers are "underestimated," said Dr. Rajni Shankar-Brown, president of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Despite approving more than $22 billion in new housing and on homelessness spending since becoming governor, the problem has continued to grow on Gavin Newsom's watch.

On Thursday, he announced a new plan to help address the issue. 

The state will build 1,200 tiny houses that will go up on public land for those living in encampments in Sacramento (350 homes), Los Angeles (500 homes), San Jose (200 homes), and San Diego (150 homes).   

Local leaders will then determine where to set them up and who will live in the temporary housing, while the California National Guard will help set them up. 

"In California, we are using every tool in our toolbox — including the largest-ever deployment of small homes in the state — to move people out of encampments and into housing," Newsom said. "The crisis of homelessness will never be solved without first solving the crisis of housing — the two issues are inextricably linked. We are tackling this issue at the root of the problem by addressing the need to create more housing, faster in California."

Critics pointed out that the tiny house solution, an idea that was tried unsuccessfully in Seattle, will barely make a dent in the state's problem, nor will it address some of the biggest reasons why people end up on the streets, namely drug addiction and mental health problems. 


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