Where Is the One Billion Tax Dollars Marked for Housing the Homeless in CA? – No One Knows!

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NO ONE KNOWS where at least one billion in tax dollars went, which were marked for helping the homeless in California. This money was already disbursed to counties and cities, and they cannot answer where the money went. Homelessness is increasing in CA. Who spent it? On what? Californians passed “Prop. One” to house the homeless, how is it going to be implemented? Who is held accountable for reporting where the money goes? – Hear the shocking truth from the President of PPIC (Public Policy Institute of California) Tani Cantil-Sakauye, former Chief Justice of CA Supreme Court.

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(To read the full transcript for the entire 1-hour-50-minute interview, click here. )

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Joanne Z. Tan interviewed Tani Cantil-Sakauye on June 24, 2024. Homeless crisis in California, as an excerpt here, is one of many subjects covered in the almost 2-hour interview. Stay tuned for more excerpts, and the full interview coming soon.


(Transcript of the excerpt on California’s homeless crisis and the missing tax dollars funds for the homeless sent to counties and cities:)

Joanne Tan 58:10

Homelessness and the implementation of Prop One: What improvement have we seen about homelessness? How can the implementation be improved? Who is accountable?

Tani Cantil-Sakauye  58:24  

Well, I’ll start with the last question. We do know that the LAO, the Legis Analyst Office, did a report on two cities, that is San Diego and San Jose this year to determine how the billion or so in affordable housing money was spent, and the LAO came away in the report saying, we don’t know, and we don’t know because, in part, there is no accountability. You gave over a billion dollars was provided to different entities to help with the homeless crisis or the unhoused crisis, and they didn’t keep records, and they didn’t account for their success, and they didn’t match up whether it met with their goals. That is just unacceptable.

It is unacceptable that no one can account for the billions of dollars or billion dollars that was spent taxpayer money on trying to fix a true humanitarian crisis in California. And what we do know is that California’s unhoused population has grown, and we see it now, not only in urban areas, but rural areas. Most disturbing to me about the unhoused population on the streets is that we know that they are older people. They’re people in their 50s, there are people who once had a home, once had a mortgage, once had rent, and then something happened that put them out on the streets that was brittle, and unplanned, and unprepared for, and they’ve been in the streets, and yet, at one point they were able in California to make ends meet. And then they’re turned out onto the street, and they’re aging.

And again, as we’ve heard, and I, we, and different studies bear this out, if people didn’t have a mental illness when they were turned out onto the street, they’d have one soon thereafter. And there are reports out there that say the only way you treat mental health is first by finding a shelter, a stable shelter, where they, that person can receive medical services, and it can’t be in a tent on a sidewalk.

So we need to be accountable before any more funding is released, and we need to see concrete evidence of positive change before any more funds are released, and the governor’s Prop One that just recently and barely passed, might be a step in the right direction. It’s taking, as you know, in part, some of the resources that were given to county levels, resources for unhoused, now providing some of it for the state, and it’s going to provide housing and services, not only for drug but also mentally ill.

And I’m… Jury’s out. I don’t know what to make of that. I don’t think transferring responsibility from one government entity to another is what makes the difference. What makes a difference is accountability, and getting people to report back how that money is being used, and what progress is being made, and if none is made, then it means trying something different that can be positive. 

Joanne Tan  1:01:28  

Is there a mechanism for auditing the money?

Tani Cantil-Sakauye  1:01:33  

Oh, absolutely, there’s a mechanism. They could build it into the grant itself. We’ll give you a $250,000 and you report quarterly, telling us what you spent it on, telling us what your what your goal is, how you’re going to use it, what you spent it on, and what was achieved, and why or why not was that achieved? We all account. Everybody accounts. You know, it’s a matter of being responsible.

Joanne Tan  1:01:55  

Yeah, why wasn’t that done?

Tani Cantil-Sakauye  1:01:57  

I don’t know.


© Joanne Z. Tan   All rights reserved.


To read the ENTIRE 1-hour-50-minute interview

(Stay tuned for more excerpts and the entire interview.)

Please share with others, thank you!


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