Gov. Newsom tours Homekey site in Santa Clara County

Gov. Newsom toured a Homekey site in Santa Clara County today to highlight the state's action to tackle homelessness.

The program is described by California officials as the "largest expansion of housing for people experiencing homelessness in recent history."

Last month, Newsom signed legislation aimed at affordable housing and other developments in California. The bill gives $12 billion in new funding to get more people experiencing homelessness in the state into housing and to "functionally end family homelessness" within five years.

RELATED: California to extend eviction ban, pay back rent for tenants

The funding is part of Newsom's $100 billion California Comeback Plan, an economic recovery relief plan aimed at addressing five of the state's biggest challenges.

The nation's most populous state has an estimated 161,000 people experiencing homelessness, which is more than any other state.

A new state database shows that nearly 250,000 people sought housing services from local housing officials in 2020. Of that number, 117,000 people are still waiting for help while nearly 92,000 people found housing.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom signs affordable housing legislation

Newsom launched projects "Roomkey" and "Homekey," using federal funding to house homeless residents in hotels and motels during the pandemic and helped cities, counties and other local entities buy and convert motels and other buildings into housing.
A February audit criticized the state for its fragmented approach to addressing homelessness and urged the state to track spending and set statewide policy.

It identified at least nine state agencies that spent $13 billion on 41 programs to address homelessness without evidence to show what was effective.

RELATED: Stimulus checks, rent relief: Newsom unveils CA recovery plan
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Gov. Gavin Newsom and state leaders announced on Monday a $100 billion economic recovery relief plan that will provide one-time stimulus checks, rent and utility relief for more Californians.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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