Newsom’s homelessness council blames local governments for failing to track billions spent on crisis

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s hub for tackling the homelessness crisis shifted the blame to local municipalities after a state audit report found the council failed to track how billions of dollars have been spent trying to tackle the crisis in the last five years. A senior spokesperson for the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (CICH), which coordinates homeless programs across the state, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday 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.”GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM FACES RECKONING WITH $73B BUDGET DEFICIT LAWMAKERS SAY HE HELPED CREATE”The Council continues to improve its ability to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent judiciously and effectively, including by providing technical support to local jurisdictions to help align data standards and reporting,” the spokesperson said.But the state auditor found that nine state agencies have collectively spent $24 billion in state funding over the past five years administering at least 30 programs dedicated to tackling the homelessness crisis, and said Newsom’s homeless council “is responsible for coordinating, developing, and evaluating the efforts of these nine agencies.”The state’s independent audit, released Tuesday, noted CICH is required by law to report its finances related to all state‑funded homelessness programs, but stopped doing so in 2021.  Over the past five years, the CICH didn’t consistently track whether the money actually improved the situation, the audit concluded. It also failed to collect and evaluate outcome data for these programs due to the lack of a consistent method.In a letter to the governor, the state auditor wrote that “the state must do more to assess the cost-effectiveness of its homelessness programs.”DESANTIS RIPS CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK POLICIES ALLEGEDLY FUELING RETAIL THEFT IN ANNOUNCING NEW FLORIDA CRACKDOWNDespite billions spent on homelessness and housing programs during the 2018-2023 fiscal years, the problem didn’t improve in many cities, according to the state auditor’s report. Since 2013, homelessness has jumped more than 53%. In 2023, the state estimated about 180,000 people in the state are homeless, which is more than anywhere else in the U.S.”Further, it has not aligned its action plan for addressing homelessness with its statutory goals, nor has it ensured that it collects accurate, complete, and comparable financial and outcome information from homelessness programs,” according to the state audit.ATTACKS AGAINST CHURCHES DOUBLED IN 2023, REPORT WARNS: ‘GROWING DISDAIN FOR CHRISTIANITY’Some data regarding the number of program participants and bed inventory in the state system might not be accurate or reliable, the audit found. The CICH was created in 2017 to help track the state’s homelessness data, but it has produced only one report on homeless spending since its inception.The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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