Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s recent attacks on California cities regarding homelessness:
“President Trump this week attacked not one but two of California’s great cities. Never before have I seen a president go out of his way to so malign a state. California has its share of challenges, but every state does. And homelessness is a national problem, not just a California problem.
“To be clear, California’s state, county and city governments are all taking great pains and dedicating considerable funds to confront these challenges.
“Homelessness is one of Governor Newsom’s top priorities, so much so that he wants to double state spending on the problem to $1 billion.
“Since Eric Garcetti took over as mayor of Los Angeles, 30,000 people have been housed. His last budget had more than $400 million to fight homelessness. And in 2016 the city passed a $1.2 billion bond to build thousands of homes.
“Mayor Breed in San Francisco is also confronting the problem. She’s seeking to pass a $600 million bond for affordable housing and health services and is adding 1,000 beds to the city’s shelters.
“Rather than casting aspersions on California, the president should be looking to help. Governor Newsom this week sent President Trump a letter with specific ways the federal government could assist California cities. Provide 50,000 more housing vouchers. Raise the value of vouchers to cover higher rents in expensive states like California. And help make vouchers more useful by incentivizing landlords to participate.
“The president could also support the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act, a bill that Senator Murkowski and I introduced. The bill creates a grant program that would provide $750 million each year in grants for supportive housing programs and wraparound services. It leverages federal funds by requiring a 25 percent non-federal match and includes strict requirements to ensure the funds are spent wisely.
“And the president could stop including steep cuts in his budget proposals to programs like the Community Development Block Grants that help cities address housing needs.
“There are solutions at hand. What they don’t involve is attacking and threatening California, the state that produces the most food, has the biggest economy and drives innovation. We’re all working hard to fight homelessness. To the president, I say work with us, not against us.”