California Close To Rolling Out $2 Billion Plan To House Homeless People

It will involve a 1 percent tax hike for millionaires.
A woman pushes her walker past tents housing the homeless in Los Angeles, California.
A woman pushes her walker past tents housing the homeless in Los Angeles, California.

The country’s “homeless capital” is gearing up to spend $2 billion to put an end to the crisis.

As homeless figures continue to rise in areas throughout California, lawmakers are putting the “finishing touches” on a plan to tackle the problem nearly six months after it was first proposed, the Associated Press reported. 

Back in January, senators introduced the idea of issuing $2 billion in bonds to provide at least 14,000 units to house homeless people, the Los Angeles Times reported. The bonds would be repaid over about 20 to 30 years using funds from a “millionaires tax,” which would raise taxes on millionaires by 1 percent, according to the AP. 

The plan is moving forward at a time when cities, including Los Angeles, are declaring homelessness states of emergencies in order to free up disaster funds to address the issue. But Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t in favor of the approach, the AP noted.

While Los Angeles’ Skid Row often serves as the “face” of California’s homeless issue, it’s hardly the only area that’s facing staggering figures.

In the city of Los Angeles, homeless figures jumped 11 percent from 2015 to 2016. 

In San Francisco, homelessness increased 3.9 percent from 2013 to last year. On a given night last year, there were 6,686 homeless people in the city, according to the annual point-in-time survey. 

Brown remains focused on providing housing for people in need, a method that has repeatedly proven to work.

A recent study out of San Francisco found that the city saved 56 percent in expenses over the course of four years after housing for homeless people. 

Part of the state plan will involve organizations in counties providing services to homeless people. That includes mental health programs and case workers, among other services.

“The problem is getting worse everywhere,” Darrell Steinberg, the former California Senate leader who was elected to be mayor of Sacramento earlier this month, told the Times back in January. “At the same time we know what works.”



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