GOP Outraged Over Missing $24 Billion Squandered on Homelessness

( California Republicans are outraged about $24 billion of untracked funds that were spent to improve the homelessness crisis. The billions of dollars were spent over the course of five years, but according to the GOP, there is no indication whether or not the taxpayer money served its intended purpose.

A report from the state auditor stated that the problem continued without any improvement in several cities. The California Interagency Council on Homelessness was tasked with making sure the funds were being used appropriately and effectively. They stopped measuring the progress of the program in 2021. They did not gather necessary data due to inconsistent procedures.

Republican representative James Gallagher said Newsom is to blame for the failure of the program. He said this is typical behavior by the Governor to waste public funds while failing to provide a public benefit. The audit, however, didn’t obtain enough data on three out of the five homelessness programs to determine conclusively whether or not the programs are working.

One of the two programs that has enough data to evaluate is the Homekey program, which was shown to be “likely” and effective use of funds. The program converts existing buildings and hotels into housing for homeless people. The cost is an average of $144,000 per building versus a minimum of $380,000 as the cost to build a new structure.

The other program with enough data is the CalWORKS Housing Support Program. This program spends between $12,000 and $22,000 to prevent individuals from becoming homeless. In contrast, each homeless person can cost up to $50,000 in public funds.

On March 25, California voters narrowly voted in favor of additional funding to aid the homelessness crisis and mental health. A tax on millionaires that passed in 2004 will be the funding source for the new program. Two-thirds of the funds from that tax are required to be spent on mental health and homelessness programs. The measure passed with 50.19% in favor and 49.81% opposed.

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