Could California’s Multi Billion Dollar Plan to Tackle State’s Homeless Crisis Include Manufactured Homes?
As his September 14 recall election looms, California Governor Gavin Newsom has been traveling the state to talk up his California Comeback Plan – a $100 billion budget that seeks to provide relief to those in need and tackle major state challenges.
In a recent stop in Los Angeles, the Governor detailed a multi-billion dollar funding plan to tackle the state’s homeless crisis, announcing billions in aid to be spread across the state to get people off the streets.
“The investments we’re making here today are most historic,” Newsome said. “The largest investments in mental health housing in California history.”
As for what’s in the budget, there is $12 billion to tackle the homelessness crisis, including money to tackle mental health issues; $10.3 billion in affordable housing, and $5.8 billion to add 42,000 new housing units.
Also, the spending plan includes $5.2 billion for rental assistance.” We will pay 100% of your back rent through April of last year, and we’ll pay for going forward through Sept. 30.” said Newsome.
MANUFACTURED HOUSING “FEMA-LIKE” APPROACH RECOMMENDED
And while Newsome has been promoting the funding for several months, the additional resources cannot come soon enough as the state limps out of the worst of the pandemic.
“I think there’s a lot of people doing a lot of good things,” Rev. Andy Bales said. “There’s outreach going on. I think we’ve awakened a bit to the crisis that we’re in. We aren’t there yet.”
Bales, the president and CEO of Union Rescue Mission in Skid Row, said getting mental health services to the unhoused is critical to addressing the overall crisis.
“You could do this in a much more innovative and inexpensive way,” he said. “And that is, as I’ve said before, $10 billion would allow you to do $2 billion of land purchase and $8 billion would allow you to create 133,000 brand new three-bedroom, two-bath manufactured homes, and I just hope they consider the more practical, immediate way to provide a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management) like approach.”
Anyone who lives or visits L.A. knows how bad the crisis has gotten over the last year.
“We just moved here from New York a year ago and quite shocked by what we’re seeing,” one woman said. “I’m glad they’re doing something because it’s upsetting.”
Newsome was asked if pouring so many resources into addressing the growing crisis would incentivize more unhoused people from across the country to come to California.
“To the extent that people want to come here for new beginnings, at all income levels, that’s part of the California dream,” he said. “And we have a responsibility to accommodate, enliven and inspire.”