2022 HOMELESSNESS & AFFORDABLE HOUSING: An Action Plan for Transparency & Accountability
The dual crises of homelessness and lack of affordable housing are among the greatest challenges we face in California. These crises are very much linked – yet also distinct. They have also been very many years in the making – due to lack of planning, coordination, clarity of purpose and dereliction by our state and local governments.
More public resources are available today for housing and homelessness – whether through budget appropriations, bond funding, tax credits, or tax exempt financing – than at any other time in California’s history. But, the results have not been impressive and the problems have only grown more acute.
There is no singular or simple solution to the situation we face today – and to the human toll of these crises – but auditing, inventorying, understanding and reporting on the monies being spent and on the results being achieved is crucial to making progress.
PHASE I: Deploy Strike Teams within 60 Days
Within his first 60 days as State Controller, Galperin will use his power as the state’s elected financial watchdog to initiate financial strike teams to audit and assess public spending on homelessness and housing at the state, county, and municipal levels.
These strike teams will:
- Identify and track taxpayer funds allocated to address the lack of affordable housing and the homeless crisis (and related supportive services);
- Measure the results of these investments, ensuring that taxpayers are getting optimal return on their investment and create benchmarks for measuring results;
- Expose fiscal mismanagement, corruption, and abusive spending – demanding accountability for California’s taxpayers;
- Identify state owned properties which might be appropriate for use in alleviating homelessness and addressing housing needs in local jurisdictions;
- Audit selected programs and expenditures with an eye to understanding successes and failures and how resources can be better allocated to improve results and to save lives.
PHASE II: Create a Task Force on Housing Finance
Within his first six months as State Controller, Galperin will establish and chair a task force where multidisciplinary experts undertake a comprehensive review of how to improve funding for housing and report on recommendations.
PHASE III: Develop a Homelessness & Housing Information Hub
Within his first year as State Controller, Galperin will create The Homelessness & Housing Information Hub, a centralized hub containing data, information, and resources to help Californians across our state. One of the hub’s key components focuses on creating a centralized place where the public can view comprehensive reporting on how their tax dollars are being allocated in projects related to homelessness and affordable housing.
RECORD OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Controller Galperin’s record of holding government officials accountable on issues of affordable housing and homelessness includes:
- In 2020, Controller Galperin issued his action plan, Meeting the Moment: An Action Plan, to more immediately address homeless housing and to both accelerate permanent supportive housing projects and to deliver them more cost effectively in Los Angeles. In both 2019 and 2020, Controller Galperin also released thorough reviews of Proposition HHH – the $1.2 billion measure approved by L.A. City voters in 2016 to build 10,000 permanent supportive housing units for unhoused Angelenos. Controller Galperin has advocated strongly for cutting red tape, and re-allocating dollars from slow-paced and high-priced projects to projects that can be completed faster and cheaper.
- In 2019, Controller Galperin released a report, Improving Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) Outreach Program, finding that LAHSA was not meeting five of its critical outreach goals when working with unsheltered individuals. Not only was LAHSA’s street outreach performance insufficient to provide services for people experiencing homelessness, but they also had loose review and reporting procedures on their activities. Controller Galperin strongly believes in holding our agencies accountable for the work they are charged with doing, and LAHSA is in need of serious reforms.
- Controller Galperin created Property Panel L.A, the first ever inventory map of every property in the Los Angeles area owned by local, state and federal governments – identifying public properties that policymakers should be using for affordable housing and shorter term homelessness services.