California asks for surplus federal land to house homeless

U.S. & World

FILE – In this Monday, July 1, 2019 file photo, a homeless man moves his belongings from a street behind Los Angeles City Hall as crews prepared to clean the area. California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a request letter, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson asking the federal government to provide surplus federal land to deal with the state’s homeless crisis. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

(AP) – California is asking the Trump administration to provide surplus federal land that could be used to build housing for the homeless, mirroring a new state program.

Gov. Gavin Newsom sent the request to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson amid an ongoing debate over whether Democratic officials in California are doing enough to ease the state’s homelessness crisis.

The governor earlier this month directed his administration to identify unused state property that can be used by local governments or nonprofits.

That includes state property alongside highways or state roads, state fairgrounds, and vacant hospitals and health care facilities. 

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