California Governor Gavin Newsom has revealed a $30 million plan to construct 1,200 tiny homes in an effort to address the state’s homelessness crisis.
The announcement was made during Newsom’s first stop on a four-city tour in Sacramento.
The 120-square-foot homes, which can be assembled in just 90 minutes, will have electricity but no plumbing, water, or cooking appliances.
Critics argue that the initiative is like applying a band-aid to the problem and accuse the governor of merely hiding the issue.
California is home to nearly one-third of the entire homeless population in the United States.
Newsom’s project aims to create space for clearing homeless encampments that continue to emerge in major cities.
Federal courts have ruled that cities cannot remove homeless encampments if there are no available shelter beds.
The new tiny homes will be distributed among Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego.
While the state will finance the construction and installation of the homes, local governments will be responsible for their maintenance.
However, critics claim that the plan does not go far enough, as California’s homeless population has increased by 6% since 2020.
This contrasts with a 0.4% increase in the rest of the nation during the same period, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
Senator Brian W. Jones criticized the plan, saying, “This is just another band-aid on a crisis that is out of control in California.”
He also pointed out that California has already spent $20 billion over the last five years on homelessness, with the crisis only worsening.
GOP assemblyman Josh Hoover expressed skepticism about the project’s potential impact, saying it would not “make a huge dent.
” Additionally, San Francisco and Oakland are not included in the scheme. A similar project in Oakland from 2018 to 2021 had mixed results.
Newsom admitted on Thursday that the project is not a comprehensive solution, saying, “It’s not just about sweeping things under the rug or kicking people off the streets and sidewalks and claiming a job well done.”