California: Auditor finds "gaps" in Newsom's $24 billion effort to combat homelessness

The state auditor's report revealed that the state "has not collected sufficient data" over the past five years to demonstrate that billions of taxpayer dollars were used to improve the situation.

The California state auditor's report uncovered significant "gaps" in Governor Gavin Newsom's administration regarding the accounting of $24 billion allocated to address the state's homeless crisis. 

Chief auditor Grant Parks said the state "has not collected enough data" over the past five years to show that billions of dollars in taxpayer funds were used to improve the situation.

Grant Parks, who was appointed by Newsom in 2022, added in the study that since 2021, the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) "has not consistently tracked and evaluated the state's efforts to prevent and end homelessness":

Cal ICH has also not aligned its action plan to end homelessness with its statutory goals to collect financial information and ensure accountability and results. (...) Thus, it lacks assurance that the actions it takes will effectively enable it to achieve those goals. 

2023-102.1 by Veronica Silveri

State conservatives demand answers

Republicans in the state legislature have come together to demand a detailed report on how the $24 billion was spent. California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher blames Governor Newsom for the lack of information:

This is standard Gavin Newsom – make a splashy announcement, waste a bunch of taxpayer money, and completely fail to deliver (...) Californians are tired of the homeless crisis, and they’re even more tired of Gavin’s excuses. We need results – period, full stop. 

Representative Kevin Kiley posted on his X account, formerly Twitter, that in 2020 the governor prevented the audit from being carried out. Likewise, he claimed that homelessness is an issue that continues to get worse throughout the state:

I first requested the audit in 2020, but Newsom intervened to overturn it. Now we know why he didn't want his spending examined (...) Last year, Assemblyman Josh Hoover got the audit approved, and the results released today are even worse than he expected.

Meanwhile, homelessness has increased 32% in California over the past five years. It's up 67% in Sacramento. And half of the country's homeless people now live in our state (...) California is spending more and more on homelessness and the problem continues to get worse and worse. Far worse than anywhere else in America. It's yet another example of how our citizens sacrifice the most and get the least in return.