The Trump administration has rejected a request by California Governor Gavin Newsom for more money to combat the state's growing homelessness crisis, according to Bloomberg.
Newsom and 13 mayors of the state's largest cities wrote to Trump this week in search of more federal funds to expand state-wide programs such as housing vouchers.
"We can all agree that homelessness is a national crisis decades in the making that demands action at every level of government – local, state, and federal. In California, state and local governments have ramped up action to lift families out of poverty by investing in behavioral health, affordable housing, and other homeless programs," wrote the mayors. "In contrast, your Administration has proposed significant cuts to public housing and programs like the Community Development Block Grant."
"Federal taxpayers are clearly doing their part to help solve the crisis," wrote Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in a Wednesday reply to Newsom, written at the request of President Trump. "California cannot spend its way out of this problem using federal funds."
Trump, meanwhile, directed his administration last week to explore ways to combat the homelessness crisis in California. Ideas include relocating vagrants from Los Angeles's notorious skid row to vacant federal properties.
Nearly 500,000 California households already receive some kind of federal housing assistance, Carson said in his letter, dated Wednesday, and subsidies per tenant are 38% higher than the national average. He said that Los Angeles alone -- where many freeway overpasses and public parks have become encampments -- is home to 19% of the nation’s entire homeless population. -Bloomberg
Carson added that California needs to let police officers refer homeless people to social services workers, and must increase its psychiatric hospital services - which could come via additional federal funding, according to the report. Here's the kicker however; California must end so-called "sanctuary city" policies which he says encourage illegal immigrants to flock to the state in search of government services.
As we noted last week, Trump told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in July that his administration "may intercede" in cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
"You can't have what's happening -- where police officers are getting sick just by walking the beat. I mean, they're getting actually very sick, where people are getting sick, where the people living there living in hell, too," said Trump. "We cannot ruin our cities. And you have people that work in those cities. They work in office buildings and to get into the building, they have to walk through a scene that nobody would have believed possible three years ago."