California Legislators Call for Audit of Homeless Programs

Yelba Carrillo, Principal

The State’s Legislative Audit Committee approved a request by a bipartisan group of Senators that includes Dave Cortese (San Jose), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (Yucaipa), Roger Niello (Fair Oaks), Evan Low (San Jose), and Josh Hoover (Folsom) to audit the effectiveness of five State homelessness programs, focusing on two cities: the City of San Jose and one other city not yet named.

The audit, which will cost an estimated $743,000, is expected to be completed by October. The five programs have not yet been identified, though it is suspected that Project Homekey will be one of the programs.

According to Senator Cortese, the audit will investigate the implementation of State housing funds and will make recommendations about program improvements or reductions. Key questions to be answered include the number of people who received assistance, how funding has been spent, and the amount of funding allocated to administration.

Other efforts are underway to review how funds for homelessness are being used. A bill by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (San Fernando Valley) seeks to require the State to set specific homelessness reduction goals while allowing funds to be reallocated between local agencies when they are not being spent. According to the author, AB 799 – the Homelessness Accountability and Results Act would establish accountability, streamline administrative burdens for local government agencies, and increase transparency and oversight in the implementation of the State’s Homelessness Housing, Assistance, and Preservation (HHAP) Program.