The “Ending Homelessness Act,” which was co-sponsored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would give an additional $13.27 billion over five years to create an estimated 400,000 affordable housing units.
The funds would go to supportive housing, including homeless shelters and transitional housing, as well as housing vouchers for low-income families and local outreach services to homeless residents.
“Too many people don’t have a safe place to call home. We must act quickly to tackle our country’s homelessness crisis head on,” Harris said in a news release. “The women and men who woke up this morning on a bench or under an overpass cannot afford to wait.”
The lack of affordable housing is a nationwide crisis, and California has one of the highest rates of homelessness. On any given day in January 2018, more than 500,000 people were homeless in the U.S., according to a federal report.
Nearly a quarter of the nation’s homeless residents live in California. In the past two years, homelessness has spiked in Los Angeles, parts of which Waters represents, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where Harris is from and had served as district attorney.