Secretary Carson Rejects Governor Newsom’s Request for Increased Federal Investment in Housing Options for People Experiencing Homelessness

HUD Secretary Ben Carson rejected California Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for increased federal investment in housing options for people experiencing homelessness in a letter published on September 18. The letter, written at the behest of President Trump in response to an earlier letter from Governor Newsom, said that California’s “overregulated housing market, [inefficient] allocation of resources, [and] policies that have weakened law enforcement” are to blame for the increase in the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the state. Secretary Carson also faulted mental illness, illicit drug use, and California’s adoption of “sanctuary State and city policies” for increasing the state’s homeless population and straining federal, state and local resources.

Governor Newsom and a bipartisan coalition of California’s elected officials sent a letter to President Trump on September 16 in response to the Trump administration’s recent push to address homelessness in California (see Memo, 9/16). The letter called on the administration to increase federal investments in housing options for people experiencing homelessness and requested 50,000 additional Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers. The letter also requested an increase in the value of those vouchers to account for the high cost of rent in cities hardest hit by the homelessness crisis and recommended creating a program to incentivize collaboration between voucher recipients and landlords. The letter further urged congressional action through increased appropriations to the HCV and VASH programs to create sustainable solutions to the homelessness crisis.

Read Governor Newsom’s letter at:

Read Secretary Carson’s response at:

Read NLIHC’s press statement about the Trump administration’s actions at: