Dems turn on Newsom when there’s virtually nothing to show for $20B homeless spending

California Governor Gavin Newsom is being savaged by some of his fellow Democrats in the state over his homeless council failing to account for $20 billion in spending as the crisis continues to spiral out of control.

“You come to a budget committee, and there’s no numbers,” Democratic Assemblymember Phil Ting charged concerning Newsom’s housing and homelessness council during Monday’s budget committee hearing according to Fox News. “How many people have we helped? How many people are off the street? Because that’s what people want to know.”

In response, a California Interagency Council on Homelessness (CICH) executive made excuses claiming it was due to “data quality issues.” So, there is no data showing exactly where the $20 billion was spent since the council came into being.

“We’re working expeditiously,” executive officer Meghan Marshall vaguely stated which was nowhere good enough for those asking questions.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

“What does that mean though? We spent billions of dollars, and you can’t tell us at all how many people we’ve helped,” Ting replied.

“We can’t just be shoveling money at a problem without knowing if we’re spending the money wisely, in the most cost-effective way,” Democratic Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi said. “This should not be a reason for us to stop addressing this crisis, but we need to get smarter in terms of how we’re spending the money.”

“Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg — all Democrats — and other leaders of California’s largest cities traveled to the state Capitol last month to lobby for more homelessness funding,” the LA Times reported.

There appears to be more than enough blame to go around concerning the issue. The question is who is ultimately responsible and whether a crime has been committed.

“Megan Kirkeby, deputy director for the California Department of Housing and Community Development, told lawmakers in the committee that the state didn’t previously require them to track its progress on spending or the viability of its programs, adding it’s not ‘something to be proud of,'” Fox News noted.

“CICH, the blue state’s hub for coordinating the state’s homeless programs, shifted blame to local cities last month in an emailed response to Fox News Digital’s inquiry about the failure to track the money. A senior spokesperson said municipalities ‘are primarily responsible for implementing these programs and collecting data on outcomes that the state can use to evaluate program effectiveness,'” the media outlet said.

California is facing a massive deficit in its budget and something like this simply adds to the distrust growing among residents in the state. The deficit has to be handled by July according to state law, and both sides of the political aisle in the legislature fear the results of an audit since it could negatively impact funding for the homeless crisis. Over 181,000 people are homeless in California and living on the streets there.

“In a bombshell report last month, the state auditor found that nine state agencies have collectively spent $24 billion in state funding over the past five years in administering at least 30 programs dedicated to tackling the homelessness crisis, and the auditor said Newsom’s homelessness council ‘is responsible for coordinating, developing, and evaluating the efforts of these nine agencies,'” Fox News further reported.

“The state’s independent audit noted CICH is required by law to report its finances related to all state‑funded homelessness programs but that it stopped doing so in 2021. Over the past five years, the CICH didn’t consistently track whether the money actually improved the situation, the audit concluded. It also failed to collect and evaluate outcome data for these programs due to the lack of a consistent method,” the outlet wrote.

The state auditor wrote a letter to Newsom warning that “the state must do more to assess the cost-effectiveness of its homelessness programs.”

It appears the billions spent on homelessness in California have simply gone down a big black hole. The money apparently didn’t benefit those it was approved for between 2018 and 2023. In fact, homelessness has increased by over 53% since 2013.

“Newsom consequently called for cities to take more rigorous steps to enforce the state’s progressive housing laws, saying he is ‘not interested in failure any longer.’ In a press conference, Newsom announced the state would expand a Department of Housing and Community Development agency to enforce compliance with laws that require cities to meet a threshold of new homes, leading to legal action against rebellious cities like Huntington Beach that have refused to increase building,” Fox News said.

“This will allow us to center accountability in both housing and homelessness programs going forward. And we are continuing to work with local jurisdictions to improve the type and quality of the state coming into our statewide Homeless Data Integration System,” a Cal ICH spokesperson told Fox News Digital in an interview.

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