by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk
Originally posted at RealClearPolicy.com
WASHINGTON (SBG) - The California Department of Housing and Community Development collected $316 million from the Federal Cares Act to help homeless Californians during the COVID pandemic, according to Open The Books. But according to an audit by Open The Books, those funds have been mismanaged.
“It's just sitting there," said Open The Books' Adam Andrzejewski to Jan Jeffcoat on The National Desk. “Most of the money, even as of August of this year, according to federal reports just sits there. Only $2 million out of $316 million has actually been distributed.”
California expects a $75 billion surplus this year, thanks to the success of Silicon Valley which was able to continue working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They also received $26 billion in COVID-19 relief from federal taxpayers. Over 600,000 Californians so far have received additional state stimulus payments of $600 from the surplus funds as part of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to give back nearly $12 billion to residents this year.
“There's a ton of money sloshing around in the Golden State. And it's our money, U.S. taxpayer money, and we must be able to follow the money and hold them accountable for how they spend it,” said Andrzejewski.
With a looming deadline on spending funds to address the homeless crisis in California, the nonprofit groups could possibly lose that federal money.
“By the end of September, if you don’t spend the money you lose it. It’s called use it or lose it spending at the federal level, so this could be gone,” said Andrzejewski.