Lawmakers endorse a permanent home in the state budget for homelessness programs and affordable housing

May 31, 2023

Over two dozen state lawmakers are calling on the state budget committees to include a permanent funding stream of $3 billion in the budget to help cities increase affordable housing and reduce homelessness.

The bipartisan group signed on to a letter authored by Asm. Sharon Quirk-Silva, who is championing the League of California Cities’ ask for ongoing funding. "Cities across California have an urgent need for this funding, as they struggle to provide long-term homelessness services and find themselves diverting funding from other programs,” Quirk-Silva said. “With an ongoing investment from the state, we can achieve transformative effects.”

According to a statewide survey by Cal Cities, nearly 85% of cities have implemented programs to prevent and reduce homelessness. Roughly 90% of those cities have concerns about their ability to keep delivering those programs.

Since December 2022, Cal Cities has called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to include $3 billion annually in the state budget to increase housing affordability and reduce homelessness. His revised budget proposal does the opposite and instead calls for $712 million in delays or cuts to housing programs.

“The state has made significant investments in recent years, but it is only a down payment on what must be ongoing and more significant funding,” said Ali Sajjad Taj, Cal Cities president and Artesia council member.

Survey respondents say their city would use the funding to provide additional supportive services, increase shelter space, accelerate affordable housing development, invest in homeless outreach teams, and expand rent subsidy programs.

Cal Cities will keep asking the state to make an ongoing investment in housing affordability and homelessness programs. This includes Cal Cities’ support of AB 1657 (Wicks), which would authorize $10 billion in bonds to fund affordable and supportive housing programs.

 To learn how to get involved, contact your regional public affairs manager and stay subscribed to Cal Cities Advocate.