Oakland, CA – Today, Mayor Libby Schaaf, joined by mayors representing California’s eleven largest cities and a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers, announced new legislation Wednesday that would allocate $1.5 billion to fight the state’s homelessness crisis.
Assembly member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) will champion the effort in their respective houses.
“Oakland stands united with California’s largest cities to call upon the Legislature and Governor to address the homelessness crisis right now,”said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Although we are investing in innovative strategies, cities cannot sufficiently contend with the rapid increase in people living on our streets simply because they cannot afford to pay skyrocketing rent. As one of the wealthiest and most innovative places in the world, California can and must do better. We need a substantial investment from the State, one that acknowledges the severity and the human costs of this crisis.”
According to 2017 statewide counts, California’s homeless population has ballooned to 134,278. In response to the surge, cities across the state have utilized their general fund resources and local voter-passed revenue measures to provide housing, shelter, supportive services and outreach to people experiencing homelessness. Despite these efforts, substantial assistance from the state is needed to address the magnitude and complexity of the statewide homelessness issue.
In Oakland, 1,902 residents live unsheltered, per the 2017 point-in-time count and survey by Alameda County. The city opened its first
experimental “Tuff Shed shelter” site in December, and is currently seeking to acquire a new building to provide “rapid re-housing” services to help unsheltered residents transition into permanent housing.
AB 3171 calls for one-time funds to be allocated to cities on a matching basis, resulting in over $3 billion in collective state and local funds to meaningfully address one of the most intractable issues facing cities.
Joining Mayor Schaaf today were mayors Darrell Steinberg (Sacramento), Kevin Faulconer (San Diego), Lee Brand (Fresno).
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