Big City Mayors Want $20 Billion to Fight Homelessness

The mayors of California’s 13 largest cities called on the state to provide local governments with a record $20 billion to address the growing crisis of homelessness on Thursday. The $4 billion per-year, five-year investment works out to half of the state’s $40 billion surplus. That’s 10 times as much as cities have ever received to fight homelessness, according to Sacramento Mayor Darell Steinberg.

The mayors have called it a “generational opportunity” to solve the crisis.

“We know how to fix this problem,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “We just need the resources.”

“We can begin to move the needle, we can begin to make a change,” said Riverside’s Patricia Lock Dawson.

The mayors pointed to successes like rapid interim housing sites built in San Jose.

“We’ve shown we can do this… in less than six months at a fifth of the cost,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

The money would be split between cities and counties, but those with more homelessness would likely get more funds, Liccardo said. Some state lawmakers have already expressed support.

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