California Construction News staff writer
Additional funding has been released to help reduce homelessness and for the largest mobilization of small homes across the state. The California National Guard will assist in the preparation and delivery of 1,200 small homes to Los Angeles, San Diego County, San Jose and Sacramento, free of charge and ready for occupancy.
“In California, we are using every tool in our toolbox – including the largest-ever deployment of small homes in the state – to move people off the streets and into housing,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “The crisis of homelessness will never be solved without first solving the crisis of housing – the two issues are inextricably linked.
“We are tackling this issue at the root of the problem by addressing the need to create more housing, faster in California.”
Newsom says he is challenging the status quo and implementing new approaches to solve the dual crises of housing and homelessness, with a focus on greater accountability. Small homes are cost-effective and can be quickly deployed to move people from homeless encampments into housing.
“The magnitude of the homelessness crisis in California requires a coordinated response by all levels of government, and I commend Governor Newsom’s ongoing commitment to partnering with cities and counties,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “The addition of these small homes will get us one step closer to having the supply of emergency housing actually required to humanely clean up our streets.”
Local jurisdictions will decide locations for small houses, and the state will provide surplus land to use as an option for small homes. Local governments will own the units and provide all services, including recruiting residents, leveraging previously provided state funding. The following communities are set to receive small homes:
Los Angeles: 500 units
Sacramento: 350 units
San Jose: 200 units
San Diego County: 150 units
“All different types of housing — small homes, motels, hotels, and more — are needed to urgently confront this crisis,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “This housing will help us bring more people inside, which is what our city needs right now. Thank you Governor Newsom for locking arms with Los Angeles.”
The addition of small homes is another tool the state is using to create more housing, faster in California. Since taking office, Governor Newsom has signed over 70 bills to kick-start and streamline the building process, including 20 CEQA reform measures.
“We have a moral obligation to take urgent action to reduce the human suffering on our streets,” said San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan. “This mass mobilization of small homes accelerates the innovative approaches needed to solve our state’s homelessness crisis. As Mayor of San Jose, I am challenging our city to move 1,000 unsheltered neighbors out of unmanaged encampments and into safer alternatives by the end of this calendar year. This initiative will help us get there.”