Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday unveiled a new plan to address homelessness across the state, with $30 million in state funds going to construct 1,200 tiny homes to serve as transitional housing in four metro areas. San Francisco isn't one of them.
In what could be seen as a fuck-you of sorts to his hometown, Newsom has just unveiled a plan to bring hundreds of tiny homes for the homeless to every major metro area in California except San Francisco/Oakland. As the Chronicle reports, the tiny-home project will bring 200 of the small structures to San Jose, 350 to Sacramento, 150 to San Diego County, and 500 to Los Angeles.
To put this in perspective, the statewide homeless population is estimated around 170,000. So this project will provide temporary homes for just 0.7% of them.
Why, with its notable and significant homeless population, was San Francisco left off the list? Or Oakland? There's no explanation, however the Governor's Office made no secret of the fact that it was unhappy with various cities' leaders last year. San Francisco was among those that saw significant funding delayed in November for homelessness and housing while Newsom's office sought to have a summit of city leaders to discuss plans to reduce homelessness overall.
Today's announced effort aims to reduce homelessness by 15% in three years — and one of the governor's main complaints with cities' plans last fall is that, at best, many of them only sought to reduce homelessness by a couple of percentage points, some not at all.
Perhaps the state sees that San Francisco is already spending huge sums every year to address homelessness, and these other cities don't have the same budgets for these projects.
San Francisco also may be on the shit list because of a recent, high-profile neighborhood fight over using a city-owned parcel in the Mission District to build a new tiny-home village. The parcel, the former Walgreens parking lot off an alley near the 16th & Mission BART plaza, is next door to an elementary school, and many neighbors expressed anger at a community meeting last month about this, saying the 70-unit project should be done elsewhere. The problem is that the city only owns a finite number of empty lots like this, and even here the cost of putting up the tiny homes was estimated around $100,000 apiece, without land costs. The city has already earmarked $7 million for the project, but it is indefinitely stalled.
Reportedly, per the Chronicle, "Newsom will make additional announcements on topics including affordability and mental health through the weekend at different locations in California."