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About-face: Why Newsom relented, released $1 billion despite lackluster local homeless plans

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Gov. Gavin Newsom explains why he withheld, then released, $1 billion for local governments to reduce California homelessness. The two sides met in Sacramento on Nov. 18, 2022. 

Two weeks after withholding $1 billion in homelessness funding over lackluster local plans, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that most cities and counties would get the funds as early as next week anyway — as long as in the next round, they commit to more aggressive plans to reduce street homelessness.

But it’s been a whiplash-inducing couple of weeks, triggered by a funding process that frustrated both the governor and the locals. Newsom dissed local applicants for seeming too complacent about a dire California problem, while the applicants retorted that the Newsom administration sent conflicting signals — and that in any case, state lawmakers had inadvertently given them a financial motive to lowball their goals. 

More than 100 local mayors and county officials gathered virtually and in-person in a sleek downtown Sacramento government building Friday afternoon to broadly discuss how to better tackle the state’s most pernicious crisis.


Muhammad, who declined to provide his last name, warms his hand at a fire near his tent in Sacramento. 

This article was republished with permission from CalMatters.  You can read more of their coverage of California state government on  

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