Wilk seeks funding for state homeless council in response to scathing audit

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Scott Wilk, R – Antelope Valley, announced that he has submitted a formal request to the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review to fully fund the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.

“The council is in a unique position to affect real change in the way our state approaches homelessness but without funding they are hamstrung by fiscal inability,” said Wilk. “California must do more than pay lip service to solving our state’s homeless crisis and we cannot sincerely say to the people we are doing that if we allocate no money to the very council charged with that task.

The request stems from a report released last week by the California State Auditor who, at the request of Wilk, investigated California’s efforts to solve the homeless problem and found woeful inadequacies detailed in the scathing report.

“I am thankful to the state auditor for digging deep into our actions, and lack thereof, on this issue and laying out in her report a pathway forward,” said Wilk. “It is time now that we as a legislature embark down that path and this funding request is the first step in that very important direction.”

The Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council was created in 2016 to coordinate the state’s approach to homelessness but was never allocated the funding necessary to give staff or accomplish its intended purpose. Wilk said this modest allocation will benefit the entire state and ultimately pay for itself as the Council is able to help local agencies get more organized and receive additional funding from the federal government through its Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The request asks for $750,000 to fund full time staff for the Council which currently has no staff at all. It will be heard by the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review, Subcommittee No. 4 on May 10.