A painting of three tents on the sidewalk with three abstract images of people standing in front of them. The tents are blue, red, and blue.
(Dusk Delacour)

In May, Gavin Newsom announced a $12-billion proposal to fund programs to get people off the street, such as creating affordable housing and increasing mental health services.If approved by legislators with the state budget, the plan endeavors to house 65,000 people and stabilize housing for more than 300,000 people who are at risk of homelessness across the state. It also aims to provide 28,000 new beds and housing placements at behavioral health facilities and seniors housing programs. If passed, this would be a historic investment in housing and homelessness programs in California. But where exactly would the money go? While some of Newsom’s proposed investments are fairly straightforward, such as funding rent relief programs, others are sure to be more controversial, such as specific funds for “encampment resolution grants”: money for local governments to sweep encampments.

Here’s a breakdown of how Newsom says this new funding will be spent.


Project Homekey—$7 billion over two years to further expand the portfolio of housing, including behavioral health continuum infrastructure and housing for low-income seniors. Of this amount, $1 billion would specifically target families experiencing homelessness or at risk for being homeless.

Challenge Grants and Technical Assistance—$40 million one-time General Fund available over five years for the Homeless Coordinating Financing Council to provide grants and technical assistance to local jurisdictions to develop action plans to address family homelessness.

Department of Development Services Homelessness Supports—$475 million General Fund in both 2021-22 and 2022-23 to expand the existing CalWORKs Housing Support program. This program assists CalWORKs families experiencing homelessness to secure and maintain permanent housing; services include financial assistance and housing-related wrap-around supportive service.

Bringing Families Home Program—$280 million General Fund in both 2021-22 and 2022-23 to expand the existing Bringing Families Home program. This program provides housing-related supports to eligible families experiencing homelessness in the child welfare system.

Project Roomkey—$150 million one-time General Fund to support transitioning participants into permanent housing.

Regional Center Mobile Crisis Teams—$8 million General Fund in 2021-22, increasing to $11 million General Fund ongoing in 2022-23, for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment (START) teams. The teams provide 24-hour crisis prevention and response services to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Housing and Disability Advocacy Program—$175 million General Fund annually through 2023-24 to assist disabled individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

Non-Congregate Shelters—$150 million one-time General Fund to support the stability of the state’s Federal Emergency Management Agency-funded non-congregate shelter population and transition of individuals from Project Roomkey into permanent housing following the September 2021 sunset of the federal reimbursement availability from the pandemic.

Housing and Disability Advocacy Program—$175 million General Fund annually through 2023-24 to better reach and house individuals who are eligible for but not currently receiving Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment through benefits advocacy and housing assistance.

Home Safe—$100 million General Fund annually through 2022-23 for the Home Safe program to provide access to health, safety, and housing supports for individuals involved in or at risk of involvement in Adult Protective Services.

Supportive Services for Formerly Homeless Veterans—$25 million one-time General Fund for the California Department of Veterans Affairs to administer a competitive grant program to support aging veterans and veterans with disabilities who have experienced chronic homelessness.

Encampment Resolution Grants—$50 million one-time General Fund for the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) to partner with local governments and assist them with resolving critical encampments and transitioning individuals into permanent housing.

Caltrans Encampment Coordinators—$2.7 million one-time General Fund for Caltrans Encampment Coordinators to mitigate safety risks at encampments on state property and to connect these individuals to services and housing, in coordination with HCFC and local partners.

Accountability: Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council—$5.6 million one-time General Fund for HCFC to conduct an assessment of local homelessness service providers and state-funded homelessness programs. The assessment will provide a detailed view of the range of services and strategies utilized at the local level and help determine if state investments are aligned with local homelessness response systems.


Rent Relief Program—$5.2 billion in federal rental relief aid from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) for both state and local entitlement jurisdictions.

Expanded Homeowner and Renter Legal Assistance—$20 million in ARPA over the next three years ($60 million total) to the Judicial Council to continue providing legal assistance grants to over 100 legal service and self-help organizations.

California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)—$1.75 billion one-time federal ARPA funds to support HCD affordable housing projects. It is estimated that this will help more than 6,300 units of shovel-ready affordable housing move forward in an expedited manner.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Financing—$81 million one-time federal ARPA funds to expand California Housing Finance Agency’s (CalHFA) accessory dwelling unit (ADU) program; this will inject a total of $100 million in available financing for ADUs.

Housing Development on State Excess Sites—$45 million in one-time federal ARPA funds that would assist excess state land development by providing funding for vital infrastructure.

Promoting Homeownership—$100 million one-time federal ARPA funds to CalHFA to expand its First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program, which helps first-time homebuyers with making a down payment, securing a loan, and paying closing costs on a home.

Regional Early Action Planning Program (REAP)—$500 million one-time federal ARPA funds for HCD to provide additional planning and implementation grants to regional entities for infill developments, targeted towards the state’s climate goals and reducing vehicle miles traveled.

Housing Preservation—$300 million one-time federal ARPA funds to sustain HCD legacy projects affordability requirements.

Construction Apprenticeships—$20 million one-time General Fund to connect job seekers to housing apprenticeship opportunities, in partnership with the University of California, California Conservation Corps, state and local workforce development boards, philanthropic organizations, and the building industry.

Repairing and Maintaining Seasonal Farmworker Rental Housing—$20 million one-time General Fund for critical deferred maintenance needs and improved habitability at the Office of Migrant Services (OMS) centers.

Alastair Boone is the Director of Street Spirit.