Gov. Newsom announces grants to help clear homeless encampments

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(The Center Square) – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the application for the state’s Encampment Resolution Grant program is now open, offering the chance for local governments across the state to apply for a portion of $50 million in grant funds.

The grant was built into the state’s 2021-2022 budget and is part of the governor’s broader $12 billion homeless package. The grant funds are available to local governments who are committed to “addressing specific, persistent encampments” by providing pathways to permanent housing, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“The situation with encampments in California is unacceptable,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement on Oct. 29. “I refuse to accept the status quo – our fellow Californians suffering in tents, under highway overpasses, exposed to the elements, and living in unsanitary conditions. These new funds are another step towards providing dignified housing options for people exiting homelessness.”

The California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) is overseeing applications for grant funding. The agency funds projects that prioritize unsafe encampments and aims to provide a path to permanent housing for the unhoused residents and support the restoration of public places.

“With a focus on people and housing first, this program gives the state the opportunity to partner with communities on promising approaches to get residents connected to services and housing, and restore places to their intended use,” Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary and chair of HCFC Lourdes Castro Ramírez said in a statement. “Funded projects will be human centered and scalable and replicable for diverse communities across the state. We encourage all eligible cities, counties and continuums of care to partner up and apply.”

The HCFC plans to award grant funding in the spring of 2022.

The governor’s office estimates that this year’s investments to address homelessness will help provide housing and treatment for more than 44,000 individuals.

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