Press Releases

            Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) this week sent a letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson urging him to grant California Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for 50,000 additional housing vouchers to help address the state’s homelessness crisis.

            “An essential tool in combatting homelessness is housing vouchers, which help low-income Americans find affordable housing.  Not only do vouchers sharply reduce homelessness and other financial hardships, but they also lift people out of poverty and give low-income families an opportunity to move to neighborhoods that offer greater opportunity.

            “I believe the best and most immediate way that the federal government could help with California’s homelessness crisis would be for you to grant Governor Newsom’s request in the attached letter for 50,000 more housing vouchers.”

            Full text of the letter is available here and below.

December 11, 2019

The Honorable Ben Carson
Secretary
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410

Dear Secretary Carson:

I write to express my support for Governor Newsom’s request for additional housing vouchers to address California’s homelessness crisis. 

According to your Department’s data, more than 130,000 people were identified as experiencing homelessness on any given night in California – and based on recent local data for 2019, we can only expect this number to increase.  Those homeless include families with young children who can’t afford rising rents; veterans; formerly stable adults faced with unexpected life circumstances, such as losing their jobs or getting sick; victims of domestic violence; those with untreated mental illness; and individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders.

An essential tool in combatting homelessness is housing vouchers, which help low-income Americans find affordable housing.  Not only do vouchers sharply reduce homelessness and other financial hardships, but they also lift people out of poverty and give low-income families an opportunity to move to neighborhoods that offer greater opportunity.  Additionally, strong investments in housing vouchers have also been found to improve life outcomes for children, reduce overall costs, and end a reliance on other federal assistance programs.

I believe the best and most immediate way that the federal government could help with California’s homelessness crisis would be for you to grant Governor Newsom’s request in the attached letter for 50,000 more housing vouchers.  I also ask you to increase the value of these vouchers to meet higher rental costs in expensive states like California, especially in cities like Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.  Furthermore, I urge you and your Department to work with landlords to incentivize them to rent to additional voucher recipients. 

It is essential that the federal government works collaboratively with California to address homelessness, and I look forward to working with you and your department to devote additional resources to California. 

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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