Audit: California Lost Track of $24 Billion Spent to Combat Homelessness

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) administration lost track of the $24 billion in taxpayer funds it spent over the past five years in an attempt to curb the state’s homelessness crisis, an audit has found.

The California State Auditor’s report, released on April 9, detailed multiple “gaps” in accountability in regards to how the money was allocated during the 2018-2023 fiscal years. Lead auditor Grant Parks said the state “has not collected sufficient data” to prove that the billions of dollars improved the situation. 

Parks, who was appointed by Newsom in 2022, added in the report that the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) has “not consistently tracked and evaluated the State’s efforts to prevent and end homelessness,” since 2021.

“Cal ICH has also not aligned its action plan to end homelessness with its statutory goals to collect financial information and ensure accountability and results,” the report states. “Thus, it lacks assurance that the actions it takes will effectively enable it to achieve those goals.”

In short, there’s no way to determine if the money actually went to providing real help to homeless people.

Conservatives around the state are now demanding answers, with California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher calling out Newsom directly.

“This is standard Gavin Newsom – make a splashy announcement, waste a bunch of taxpayer money, and completely fail to deliver,” Gallagher told Fox News. 

“Californians are tired of the homeless crisis, and they’re even more tired of Gavin’s excuses. We need results – period, full stop.” 

Rep. Kevin Kiley (R) took to X to slam the governor for trying to prevent the audit. 

“I first asked for the audit in 2020, but Newsom intervened to kill it. Now we know why he didn’t want his spending examined,” the congressman wrote. “Last year, Assemblyman Josh Hoover got the audit approved, and the findings released today are even worse than I expected.”

“Meanwhile, homelessness has increased by 32 percent in California over the last five years. It has increased 67 percent in Sacramento. And half the nation’s unsheltered homeless now live in our state,” he continued.

He added: “California is spending more and more on homelessness and the problem continues to get worse worse and worse. Far worse than anywhere else in America. It’s yet another example of how our citizens sacrifice the most and get the least in return.”

State Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones referred to the findings as “deeply concerning.”

State Sen. Roger Niello (R) also told Fox News that the audit was “troubling,” but that he “wasn’t terribly surprised.”

“The one issue I had with the audit was that the focus was mostly on housing and shelter issues, which is certainly important, but really very little about actual results, getting people out of homelessness, not just into shelter,” Niello told the outlet. “That’s sort of half the job, maybe not even quite half the job. And, so that was a little bit of a disappointment.” 

Former MLB All-Star Steve Garvey, who is running as a Republican against Rep. Adam Schiff (D) for the U.S. Senate, said the state needs “real political courage to make necessary changes.” 

“Since day one, I’ve advocated for a federal audit of California’s homelessness crisis,” he said. “I’m glad that the state has done this, but now we need real political courage to make necessary changes. Our unhoused people and our taxpayers deserve real results, not more failed policies.” 

State Sen. Dave Cortese (D) also joined in on flaming the state’s incompetency, saying the report “highlights the need for improved data and greater transparency at both the state and local levels.”

Cortese, who requested the audit after touring a San Jose homeless encampment in 2023, went on to say that “there is a balkanized approach to data collection and outcomes, with no centralized system for tracking our investments.”

“This audit underscores the urgent need to establish best practices and create a blueprint for how the State of California and our cities can address our most visible challenge,” he added.

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