California Lawmaker Renews Fight For Homeless

The homeless population for the state of California continues to increase while the number of homeless people throughout the nation is for the most part in a decline. Many believe that this is due to the soaring cost of housing throughout the state.

State Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco suggests that the key to combatting this problem is to approach it from the state level. Chiu does not believe that the ‘city-by-city approach that is currently being used will result in lowering the numbers of Californians presently without shelter.

Chiu is fighting hard for the legislature that that would approve funding to not only build housing but to also account for the money spent on behalf of the public by cities and counties of the state in efforts to alleviate the problem of homelessness. Also, Chiu would like to see a system developed that would collect information regarding services used by the homeless in the state such as emergency room visits and nights spent In shelters.

Chiu explains that the state of California is experiencing what might be the worst homeless crisis in its history. Chiu also states that all major cities of the state have been affected and that these communities are ‘crying out’ for lawmakers to come up with a solution.

Chiu is scheduled to unveil his bills to the State Assembly on Monday. One of these bills is a proposal to speed up housing construction for homeless people in the state by eliminating the tedious application for housing developers that now exists.

For developers to qualify for faster approval under Chiu’s bill they would have to agree to make either 35% of newly built affordable housing units available to homeless citizens of the state or set aside 15% of total units built. The option chosen would be the one that provides the greatest number of housing units to be made available to homeless people.

The proposals to be set forward by Chiu are part of a larger package of bills that are intended to progress the housing packages approved by Governor Jerry Brown last year.

According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 13,000 individuals were homeless at some point in California for the year of 2017. Agency officials confess that the number could be much higher due to the fact that cities and counties in the state only provide a count one day of a given year and that count will only include people they can physically see.


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