Calif: $24B Was Spent On Homelessness For Last 5 Years But No Outcomes Were Tracked, Officials Can’t Account ‘How’ Funds Helped

A homeless woman pushes her belongings past a row of tents on the streets of Los Angeles, California. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:09 PM – Friday, April 12, 2024

After an audit revealed that California spent $24 billion over a 5-year period in an attempt to address homelessness, but neglected to regularly monitor whether the enormous outlay of public funds resulted in any real progress toward the escalating issue, California GOP officials are demanding better accountability.


The state auditor’s report discovered that several communities continued to face homelessness and housing issues in spite of spending around $24 billion on these initiatives throughout the 2018–2023 fiscal years.

The California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH), which oversees agency coordination and resource allocation for homelessness services, ceased monitoring program effectiveness in 2021, according to the report.

“It also failed to collect and evaluate outcome data for these programs due to the lack of a consistent method, the audit found,” Fox News reported.

James Gallagher, the Republican leader of the California Assembly, directly blamed the Newsom administration.

“This is standard Gavin Newsom—make a splashy announcement, waste a bunch of taxpayer money, and completely fail to deliver,” Gallagher said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Californians are tired of the homeless crisis, and they’re even more tired of Gavin’s excuses. We need results—period, full stop.” 

Despite calling the audit “troubling,” Republican state Senator Roger Niello told reporters that he “wasn’t terribly surprised.”

“The one issue I had with the audit was that the focus was mostly on housing and shelter issues, which is certainly important, but really very little about actual results, getting people out of homelessness, not just into shelter,” he said. “That’s sort of half the job, maybe not even quite half the job. And, so that was a little bit of a disappointment.” 

After visiting a sizable homeless camp in San Jose last year, Democrat state Senator Dave Cortese made the inital request for the audit, stating that it “highlights the need for improved data and greater transparency at both the state and local levels.”

“Unfortunately, there is a balkanized approach to data collection and outcomes, with no centralized system for tracking our investments,” he continued. “This audit underscores the urgent need to establish best practices and create a blueprint for how the State of California and our cities can address our most visible challenge.” 

Steve Garvey, a former professional baseball player and current GOP candidate in the upcoming 2024 U.S. Senate election, made a post on X (Twitter) concerning the recent audit.

Despite the audit’s conclusions, the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) said that since AB 977 went into force on January 1st, 2023, data collection “has improved.”

According to the law, the Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) must have certain data items about individuals and families entered by grantees of state-funded homelessness services.

Local governments, according to Cal ICH, should bear greater responsibility as they are the ones “primarily responsible for implementing these programs and collecting data on outcomes that the state can use to evaluate program effectiveness.”

“The Council continues to improve its ability to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent judiciously and effectively, including by providing technical support to local jurisdictions to help align data standards and reporting,” Cal ICH said. 

UPDATE: Top date corrected – 2023 date was changed to 2024.

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Share this post!