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Housing and Homelessness

Report: California Could Solve Homelessness For $8 Billion Per Year

The sun peeks behind a row of houses under construction with the wood frames exposed.
New housing construction in the Crocker Village neighborhood in Sacramento on Feb. 10, 2022. Increasing the supply is one solution to rising California home prices.
(Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
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How much would it take for California to solve homelessness once and for all? A new report offers an answer: about $8.1 billion more per year over the next 12 years. That money would go toward creating nearly 240,000 new homes as well as ongoing housing subsidies, homeless services, and temporary housing.

The backstory: Despite billions of dollars in new funding to address California’s homelessness crisis, the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in L.A. and across the state only continue to rise. The new California Homeless Housing Needs Assessment report accounts for Californians currently experiencing homelessness, as well as those likely to fall into homelessness soon.

Why it matters: Debbie Thiele with the Corporation for Supportive Housing, one of the nonprofits behind the report, said this is the first study to give the state a clear roadmap for fixing the problem. “Only homes end homelessness,” Thiele said. “The state has never developed a comprehensive plan for its investments and housing for people who are without homes.”

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What's next: The report says California could end homelessness by diverting an additional 2.5% of the annual state budget. That assumes people will continue falling into homelessness at rates similar to those seen today. That estimate also does not take into account local investments.

How much have we invested locally? In recent years, the city and county of Los Angeles have devoted billions of dollars to housing and services for people experiencing homelessness through voter-approved measures H and HHH. And even more funding will be on the way due to the passage of Measure ULA, which will tax property sales of $5 million or more in the city of L.A.

Go Deeper: More Than 69,000 People Are Experiencing Homelessness in LA — An Uptick From Last Count