Los Angeles in hot water over for spending hundreds of millions on worsening homeless crisis

In the same week that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s council on homelessness blamed local governments for a state audit report that found California has failed to track how billions of dollars have been spent trying to tackle the homelessness crisis, the Los Angeles City Council agreed to pay an outside firm $2.2 million to audit its own programs. A federal judge in California, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, requested last month an independent audit of Los Angeles’ homelessness programs, accusing the city of failing to do enough to significantly curb the problem in recent years. City and county officials are also demanding that its lead homeless service provider release data about its efforts.The $2.2 million agreement is roughly half of what the independent firm, selected by Carter, originally requested. It’s unclear why the amount was reduced. FLORIDA HOUSE PASSES BILL TO PROHIBIT HOMELESS PEOPLE FROM SLEEPING IN PUBLICThe audit comes after a lawsuit filed by the LA Alliance for Human Rights — a coalition of business owners and residents — argued that the city hasn’t honored its 2020 settlement agreement that promised it would build thousands of shelters and sweep out homeless encampments.The coalition urged Carter to sanction the city and pay up to $6.4 million for not meeting the settlement’s terms.”At a time when the City and County of Los Angeles are spending record levels of taxpayer dollars to address homelessness, somehow the impacts to individuals and neighborhoods are only getting worse,” a spokesperson for the LA Alliance, Daniel Conway, told Fox News Digital. “We are long past due for a hard look at how these dollars are being spent, and the programs used to do the work.”GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM FACES RECKONING WITH $73B BUDGET DEFICIT LAWMAKERS SAY HE HELPED CREATEConway said the audit will provide “an unprecedented look into spending and outcomes of homeless services, with implications about how local, state and federal dollars are used.””With five unhoused people dying every day on the streets of LA, Angelenos deserve answers,” he said.According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the city’s main hub for homeless services, more than 75,500 people were considered homeless in 2023, a 9% increase countywide. In the city, about 46,200 were considered homeless, a 10% increase from the previous year. Last month, city council members also brought forth a motion to develop an evaluation framework for LAHSA that would examine LAHSA’s contracts and expenditures as well as other data points.NEWSOM’S HOMELESSNESS COUNCIL BLAMES LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR FAILING TO TRACK BILLIONS SPENT ON CRISISMeanwhile, LAHSA’s 2022-2023 budget totaled around $845.4 million, with $726.2 million going to service providers. About $662 million was earmarked for housing, according to LAHSA’s financial documents. Just over $40 million went to LAHSA administration.Despite more taxpayer dollars at work, the homeless population continues to rise in the Golden State. It’s up 6%, compared to last year, and has the highest number of homeless people living outdoors in the country. About 181,000 people were considered homeless in the state’s 2023 count, and most are suffering from drug addiction or mental illnesses. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPA senior spokesperson for the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (CICH), which coordinates homeless programs across the state, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that the audit’s findings “highlight the significant progress made in recent years to address homelessness at the state level, including the completion of a statewide assessment of homelessness programs.”The spokesperson added local governments “are primarily responsible for implementing these programs and collecting data on outcomes that the state can use to evaluate program effectiveness.”
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