California Senate plans to enact housing initiative for the homeless

Karina Aggarwal - Staf Writer, Photo courtesy of Google Images

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On Jan. 4, 2016, the California Senate proposed the two billion dollar “No Place Like Home” initiative, which aims to build housing for homeless people. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León rented temporary subsidies for 200 million dollars over a four-year span until the new housing is complete. This money would come from the general fund of the Senate and the construction funds could generate 10,000 to 14,000 units for California’s increasing rate of homeless people. These homes will increase the Supplemental Security Income and State Supplementary Payment grants that will help low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

“Los Angeles has the unfortunate distinction of being the country’s homeless capital,” said De León. “Here we are in Skid Row, Los Angeles, not up in Sacramen-
to, doing everything to make a serious effort to help those who need it the most.”

The city and county of Los Angeles have the highest number of homeless people in the nation and homelessness rates have grown 12 percent since 2013. This proposal to build houses would be repaid over the course of 20 to 30 years with money provided under Position 63, which provides financial reporting of deferred outflows of resources. Both the county and city of Los Angeles pledged 100 million dollars each to fight homelessness, and the county has already allocated 101 million dollars to the project.

The local government in California wants to tackle poverty, homelessness and mental health complications that are seen in the communities. The new houses would take in the homeless people who have mental disabilities first, even if they refuse psychiatric or substance abuse treatment. The Senators gave additional financial support for families on welfare who are facing the possibility of becoming homeless.

The Los Angeles Times states that the California citizens are proud to see the government trying to take a stand and help the many homeless people who have nothing. No matter how expensive the costs of building the houses are, the government plans on improving the lives of the homeless people with shelter.

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