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Seven New Laws Aimed At Addressing State’s Homeless Crisis

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Sonora, CA – While asking the public to have patience, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed his new $22 billion housing and affordability and homelessness package that includes seven new laws aimed at addressing the state’s homelessness crisis.

Nearly all of that money will go to local governments. One of the bills signed on Wednesday, for the first time, gives the state more say over how local governments spend that money. The law creates a new governing body to dole out up to $2 billion in homelessness funding to local governments. It replaces the existing homelessness council and has been named the California Interagency Council on Homelessness. Directors of half a dozen state agencies will be on the council that must review and approve local governments’ plans for spending the money.

“No plan, no money,” asserted Newsom at the signing. `”We’re coming in not just with sticks, but with real carrots.’”

The governor also signed a law requiring all of the state’s 1,037 school districts and charter schools to identify all of their homeless students and refer them to available services. Additionally, Newsom detailed that his administration has identified 100 of what he called the state’s “high profile” homeless encampments and has “attached timelines and strategies to begin to clean them up permanently.”

Another signed law requires the state to prioritize its share of federal housing money, about $130 million from the National Housing Trust Fund, on projects that serve homeless people with chronic health conditions, according to a legislative analysis.

“We can’t nibble around the edges of the homelessness crisis, stated Newsom. “We need to implement bold, transformative solutions – investing more money than ever before to get folks off the street and provide the mental health and other services they need to stay off the streets.”

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