Los Angeles Criticized for Wasting Billions, Worsening Homeless Crisis

(RepublicanNews.org) – The results of a California-wide audit into the state’s homelessness problem and attempts to tackle it were released on Tuesday, April 9th, and have generated much discussion and criticism of the Golden State’s use of public funds.

In March, U.S. District Federal Judge David O. Carter ordered an independent audit to be carried out into the state’s programs to fight homelessness after a lawsuit was filed by the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, which accused Los Angeles of failing to honor its 2020 agreement to build shelters and empty the many informal homeless encampments across the city.

The wide-ranging audit highlighted several problems with how local and state authorities have allocated funding in recent years, including the lack of effective metrics to properly track progress and determine the efficacy of the programs. Republican Assembly Member Josh Hoover, one of the signatories who requested the audit, said that the audit showed a “lack of transparency” in overspending which he called “frightening.” While nine state agencies have run 30 different programs aimed at easing the homelessness crisis in the state under Gov. Newsom’s watch, the audit found that some programs and their outcomes were so badly monitored that it would be impossible to tell whether they have been at all successful.

The audit took a year to conduct and found that while Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration spent a record $24 billion tackling housing and homelessness over the last five budget years, the problems are far from fixed. California’s homeless population has grown by 6% over the last year, while Los Angeles has seen a 10% increase in the number of homeless people over the same time frame.

While the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) was allocated a 2022-2023 budget of $845 million, the city is reported to have five homeless people die on the streets every day. The Los Angeles City Council has since resolved to pay $2.2 million to a third-party firm chosen by Judge Carter to audit the city’s homelessness programs.

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