California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced plans to plunge $30 million into the construction of 1,200 tiny homes to tackle the state’s homelessness epidemic.
Newsom unveiled the tiny home project on his first stop of a four-city tour in Sacramento on Thursday.
The 120-square-foot properties can be assembled in just 90 minutes and will be connected to electricity – though they will not have plumbing, water or cooking appliances.
But critics claimed it is the equivalent of putting a ‘band-aid’ on the crisis and accused the governor of ‘sweeping things under the rug’.
Nearly a third of all homeless people in the United States reside in California.
California will plunge $30 million into the construction of 1,200 tiny homes, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday
Newsom claimed his scheme would create space to clear the homeless encampments which continue to spring up across major cities.
‘We need to focus more energy and precision on addressing encampments,’ he said during a trip
‘There’s no humanity there. People are dying on our watch.’
Federal courts previously ruled cities cannot clear homeless encampments if there are no shelter beds available.
Some 350 homes will be placed in Sacramento, 500 will be in Los Angeles, 200 in San Jose and 150 in San Diego.
The state will pay for the construction and installation of the properties but local governments will be in charge of maintaining them.
But critics say the scheme does not go far enough, with California’s homeless population up by 6 percent since 2020.
Comparatively the rest of the nation has seen a 0.4 increase in the same period, according to analysis of federal data by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Senator Brian W. Jones said: ‘This is just another band-aid on a crisis that is out of control in California.
‘We know that throwing money at this problem doesn’t work.
‘California has already spent $20 billion over the last five years on homelessness and the crisis has only gotten worse with more than 172,000 people living on the streets n this state.’
He added: ‘While I appreciate the governor’s creativity to construct 1,200 tiny homes, that is a drop in the bucket.’
Meanwhile GOP assemblyman Josh Hoover added that it would not ‘make a huge dent.’
The 120-square-foot properties can be assembled in just 90 minutes and will be connected to electricity. A prototype is pictured
Newsom was forced to deny the project was a case of ‘sweeping things under the rug’
Drone footage shows lines of people sitting outside a shelter in San Francisco last year. California holds a third of the homeless population of the US
‘I think this is another splashy announcement that I’m skeptical will get results,’ Hoover told the Los Angeles Times.
What’s more neither San Francisco or Oakland will receive homes under the scheme.
A similar project was already deployed in Oakland from 2018 to 2021 with mixed results.
Newsom acknowledged on Thursday that the project was not a fix-all.
‘It’s not just about sweeping things under the rug or kicking people off the streets and sidewalks and claiming a job well done,’ he said.
‘That doesn’t do justice.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk