California Gov. Gavin Newsom will announce plans Thursday to build 1,200 small homes across the state as part of an effort to help house the nation’s largest homeless population and to address an issue that has persistently plagued the state during his time in office.

The announcement, confirmed by the governor’s office, will come in Sacramento on the first stop of Newsom’s planned four-city tour, during which major policy announcements are expected on housing, health care and public safety. The tour is replacing the governor’s traditional State of the State address.

Newsom dedicated his 2020 State of the State speech to homelessness, calling it a “ disgrace ” in a land of so much wealth. California, home to nearly 40 million people, has nearly one-third of the nation’s homeless population, and their numbers are growing much faster than in other states, according to an analysis of federal data by the Public Policy Institute of California.
The governor has approved more than $22.3 billion in new housing and homelessness spending since taking office, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, yet the homeless population has continued to grow.

Newsom said the state will pay to build and install the 1,200 small homes, which can be put up quickly and placed on public land to house people living in encampments along roads and rivers. Sacramento will get 350 homes, Los Angeles will get 500, San Jose will get 200 and San Diego will get 150.AP   BC