California Mismanages $24 Billion In Homelessness Funds

A recent audit reveals that California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) administration failed to keep track of $24 billion allocated to combat the state’s escalating homelessness crisis over the last five years. According to the California State Auditor’s report released on Tuesday, there is insufficient data to confirm that these expenditures have done anything substantial to address the worsening crisis. 


The audit criticized the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) for its lack of consistent tracking and evaluation of the state’s homelessness programs since 2021. Despite the enormous financial outlay, state officials, including those appointed by Newsom, have noted a failure to align the action plans with statutory goals, undermining the effectiveness of the funds spent.


State Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher (R) told reporters, “This is standard Gavin Newsom — make a splashy announcement, waste a bunch of taxpayer money, and completely fail to deliver.”  



Critics point to a lack of tangible outcomes despite California’s significant investment. The state’s homeless population has soared by 32% over the past five years, with cities like Sacramento witnessing a 67% increase. These statistics suggest that despite the allocation of funds, the problem has only intensified, reflecting poorly on the efficacy of the state’s efforts.


The audit has fueled calls for greater accountability and strategic reevaluation. “Californians are tired of the homeless crisis, and they’re even more tired of Gavin’s excuses. We need results — period, full stop,” said Gallagher.


Former Major League Baseball All-Star Steve Garvey is running for the open U.S. Senate seat from California this year as a Republican. In the November general election, he will face off against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). 


On Tuesday, Garvey wrote in a post to X, formerly Twitter: “Since day one, I’ve advocated for a federal audit of California’s homelessness crisis.

I’m glad that the state has done this, but now we need real political courage to make necessary changes. Our unhoused people and our taxpayers deserve real results, not more failed policies.”


The audit’s revelations come at a critical time for Governor Newsom, whose administration has faced criticism for handling various state crises, from pandemic management to public safety. The persistent homelessness issue, exacerbated by ineffective spending, poses a significant political challenge for Newsom, particularly with the upcoming election cycle.



Fiscal conservatives should see the audit serves as a rallying point to bring public awareness to the need for actual financial oversight and transparency into the state budget. The worsening economic conditions in the Golden State could present the GOP with a meaningful opportunity to finally begin making some inroads into the Democrat Party’s stranglehold on state politics. However, as more and more working people flee the state, the Republican base could be shrinking rather than growing.  



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