The Trump administration rejected California’s plea for more funding to fight the homeless crisis Wednesday.
More than a dozen cities, including Fresno, joined Governor Gavin Newsom this week, writing the president asking for increased federal funding for programs like housing vouchers to help get people off the street.
Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias said the administration’s move to shoot down the request wasn’t a surprise.
“Unfortunately this president tends to make a lot of decisions through Twitter and through personal feelings and this is just a reflection of his personal bias and vendetta against our governor and our state,” Arias said.
The denial came from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, writing in part:
“Your letter seeks more federal dollars for California from hardworking American taxpayers but fails to admit that your state and local policies have played a major role in creating the current crisis.”
“California enacted laws that make it more difficult for us to deal with drug problems,” Councilmember Garry Bredefeld said. “I think we need to strengthen the criminal laws again. It ought to be illegal to be using drugs as they do. There are needles all over the place,” he said.
Arias said despite the president’s decision, it will not be a loss for the city of Fresno.
“It’s going to have zero impact for our city. We are investing millions of dollars of local and state resources. We’re going to continue going down the path of opening up more beds, more affordable housing units and working together between the city, the county and the state of California officials,” he said.
While Carson’s letter said more funds for housing would not be provided. It did say the administration would work with California if it first changes some of its policies.