Newsom Budget Plows Money Toward Resolving Housing And Homelessness

May 10, 2019


More emergency homelessness aid for cities and counties … and a new focus for money intended to spur housing growth. Those are two headlines from California Governor Gavin Newsom’s updated 213 billion dollar budget proposal released Thursday.  Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler reports.

Newsom took great pains to acknowledge two crises facing California: Homelessness…

Newsom: “It is a stain on the state of California.” (0:02)

…and housing.

Newsom: “We only built 77,000 housing units last year, which is deplorable.” (0:05)

So the governor wants to redirect funding to roads, water and sewage … at infill development sites where housing can’t be built until that infrastructure is paid for. And he’s proposing an increase in emergency homelessness aid for cities and counties — but only if they work together to craft regional plans.

Overall, Newsom is projecting a 21 billion dollar surplus … and 30 billion in reserves. A far cry from the budget crises of the past.

Newsom: “We’re in a very different place. But it’s not good enough.” (0:03)

A recession, he says, would create a 40 billion dollar budget hole.

At the state Capitol, I’m Ben Adler.