Home>Articles>California Lawmakers Want Audit of State’s Homelessness Spending

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley. (Photo: Kevin Kiley for Assembly)

California Lawmakers Want Audit of State’s Homelessness Spending

Is the funding being used cost effectively and with accountability?

By Katy Grimes, January 16, 2020 10:35 am

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) and Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) announced this week that they have requested a statewide audit of homelessness spending in California. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will consider the request on February 26, 2020 (updated 1/16/2020).

“The Governor is approaching our homelessness crisis with the sense of urgency it requires, but it’s important that we do not measure success just by how many dollars we spend,” Assemblyman Kiley said. “Billions have been spent in recent years, yet people are not getting the help they need and the problem continues to grow. For the Governor’s proposed investments to make a difference, we need a much better understanding of what is and is not working in our use of existing resources.”

Sen. Brian W. Jones joined Assemblyman Kevin Kiley in requesting audit. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)
Sen. Brian W. Jones who joined Assemblyman Kevin Kiley in requesting audit. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

According to Kiley, $2.7 billion has been spent, and California only has more homeless living in squalor on the streets to show for it.

Newsom’s homelessness task force

Governor Gavin Newsom has spent this week on a fact-finding mission around the state, observing the homeless crisis first hand, with the hope he will find a provision for carrying out his vision, Kiley said.

Additionally, the Governor’s homelessness task force led by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recognized the need to evaluate past and current spending citing, “In order to expand access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for individuals experiencing homelessness, the state should work in tandem with counties to ensure that existing funding, funding proposed in the Governor’s budget, and proposed Medi-Cal reforms align with the state’s goals to improve access to treatment.”

Audit needed to show what’s working and what’s not

“Solving this dire crisis will definitely take aggressive funding, but simply throwing money at the problem is not a smart solution,” said Senator Brian Jones. “We need to ensure taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are being spent wisely and used effectively. This audit is necessary and will show us what’s working – and what’s not working – so we can make informed decisions moving forward that will actually help us start making a dent in the problem.”

The audit request letter is below. The Assembly members and Senator question and want researched whether the $650 billion declared “emergency aid” actually made it to those who most needed it. And they ask if accountability and cost-effective measures are in place.

Joining Kiley and Jones as coauthors on the request are Assembly Republicans Phillip Chen, Steven Choi, James Gallagher, Tom Lackey, and Jay Obernolte.

Kiley Homelessness Audit Request
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7 thoughts on “California Lawmakers Want Audit of State’s Homelessness Spending

  1. The best news I’ve heard in a while. Accountability is long overdue! Otherwise, this state will become unlivable.

  2. The amount of money spent should have bought a house for each person homeless . How about action ,not studies sounds like the money was definitely mishandled .

  3. Well, it’s about dam time! How many people have to die before something is done legitimately, they say they have all these people working on it and billions are spent on the people they hire to do nothing about it except drain the taxpayers. Well, what about the homeless? It’s not enough!! This state is only interested in illegal immigrants and safe cities putting Americans in danger, and Impeachment of a perfectly good President. California Politicians, it’s time to step up the plate and answer to a severe problem that you have caused by taxing people right out of their homes. They can’t afford their housing because you have taxed home and landowners to death and all your stupid restrictions on the one renting is making it impossible to rescue these people off the streets. Perhaps you should try to live on the streets your self so you would know what it’s like for these people. ever heard of section 42 or rent subsidies like section 8, I am sure you have. Do something, Help these people!!! Have you ever thought of halfway homes or safe houses just to get people back on their feet? or are you just using that money to line your pockets? And send the illegals back home where they came from. that alone would make room for at least our Veterans. Help them find a job that they can physically and mentally handle. Free schooling isn’t going to help any person who struggles to stay warm or have food. get a grip! Too many politicians sitting back doing nothing. You all make me sick!!

  4. Good move Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) and Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee). Accountability for tracking the monies intended for use in minimizing the impacts of homelessness is essential. Let’s be careful that the audit doesn’t become an obstacle and a series of more “we need more funds” to complete the audit. This government tends to spend more money doing audits, investigations, generating reports, etc., only to reveal more reports, etc., and money, is needed to understand the problems that we already know are the culprits. In this case the list includes housing, jobs, mental illness, addiction (whether alcoholism, drugs, gambling, sex,) NIMBYISM and a myriad of other social issues and physical constraints. Homelessness is a societal issue, not Republican or Democrat, not Red or Blue. Good luck…………….

    1. Personally, I just LOVE the idea of a real, bonafide forensic audit, of just how MUCH taxpayer dollars has actually gone to affordable housing,say, for seniors, disabled people, veterans, and working class renters, who aren’t able to rent at market rates anyway, because there’s been a permanent housing shortage in America, since around 1980, when apartments stopped getting built,in favor of commercial structures, and luxury units and townhomes ONLY, being built !! Population has outstripped the housing stock we had, before that one year- meanwhile, immigration skyrocketed at the same time ! And in addition, our good jobs and manufacturing were sent overseas, without permission from US citizens. Drugs and alcohol alone, didn’t cause homelessness! Anyone who is old enough, can remember when there were few homeless people back in the 60’s and 70’s, when rents were abundant and cheap! In 1980, the population was 218 million. The population today, is at least 330 million. It’s the math of supply versus demand. Unfortunately, shelters and agencies make so much, too much profits off of people who are homeless !! If you Google ” profiting off the homeless,” you’ll see for yourselves how most of these billions of dollars go to administration and executive, rather than housing itself. Even worse, no real audits( with consequences) for those who overcharge to build affordable housing. It’s a known fact that housing funds have been stolen or diverted AWAY from affordable housing. And into the pockets of corrupt politicians, like Garcetti, Villagrosa, numerous others. LAHSA, HACLA, Union Station of Pasadena, Ascencia, of Glendale, again these agencies all need to be audited by outside departments, and stolen money clawed back, and correctly allocated. And don’t forget, all homeless people are NOT the same – on one hand, you have mentally ill people, addicts, and felons committing crimes- they aren’t able to rent or pay bills! They need to be in residential facilities that are well run. Not in housing situations, though addicts who finish rehabilitation programs have a chance, if they graduate. The other two, no. They can’t go back to the streets. They must be kept for life, in facilities that are humane. Closing those mental hospitals, without reforming them instead- that led to all these dangerous and screaming people out in public! I never saw screaming people walking down the street, and I was born and raised in Los Angeles,the City! Corruption and neglect, ultimately created the horrors we are forced to live with. I have to take two trains and buses, to shop outside LA, just to get to stores, a post office, a library. No way can I do this locally! But in my childhood years I could . No fears of attacks, or getting robbed. The quiet, harmless homeless citizens need enough housing stock built, for rents to stabilize at normal levels. You employers, stop using foreign workers in your companies and business! Don’t lump all homeless people together as ONE category. Seniors are the fastest growing demographic for becoming homeless. Social Security doesn’t pay average rents anymore. It hasn’t for many years. Lock up criminals and dangerous people. It can’t be THAT hard to figure out !

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