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Oct 17 2019

San Francisco Subsidizes Homelessness, Gets More of It

Subsidize something and you get more of it. This is particularly true of homelessness, as San Francisco demonstrates.

Proposition C passed with 61% of the vote, imposing a payroll tax that would raise $300 million per year to bestow upon homelessness. This money has been held up in the courts, but that has not stopped San Francisco from spending in a big way, as noted at Manhattan Contrarian:

The basic budget for homeless services has gone from about $155 million annually in the 2011-12 fiscal year, to $271 million annually in San Francisco’s most recent 2018-19 spending plan. And then there’s the newly uncovered honeypot of money in something called the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund. What’s that? According to a piece in May from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, “ERAF is a state program that requires counties to set aside a portion of local property taxes to a fund to be used for their school district. When the fund reaches its state-imposed cap, the remaining funds are then returned to the local government to be used for other purposes at the local government’s discretion.” According to that piece, San Francisco Mayor London Breed intends to spend much of this year’s ERAF “windfall” on “housing and homelessness initiatives,” including “$15 million for a new homeless navigation center, $40 million for anti-eviction measures, $14 million to buy land for affordable housing, $9 million to improve public housing and $42.5 million to complete construction of a homeless housing site.” That would look to be another $120 million or so in a year.

This cascade of cash has had the effect that any reasonable person would expect on homelessness.

According to a piece in the City Journal by Erica Sandberg on October 10, the official count of homeless in San Francisco is now 9,780. That represents an increase of at least 30% just since 2017.

When the Prop C money is freed up, San Franciscans will be spending about $600 per capita per year to subsidize homelessness. Expect the hordes of derelicts to skyrocket.

Spending money to help the homeless into homes they cannot afford (and are unlikely to maintain) will cause already stratospheric housing costs to skyrocket too. This happens when demand goes up while supply is held down by local regulators who make it economically unreasonable to build. The government is not likely to construct enough housing for the homeless to keep prices from rising as a result of “anti-eviction measures.” Consider the effect federal assistance has had on college tuition rates.

The blanket of human waste and taxpayer-financed heroin needles that covers the sidewalks will continue to thicken. The once beautiful city will tailspin ever faster into dystopia.

The same lunacy is unfolding down the Left Coast in Los Angeles.

It would be nice to think other parts of the country are at least learning from California’s example.

Hat tip: Maggie’s Farm.



2 Responses to “San Francisco Subsidizes Homelessness, Gets More of It”

  1. […] noted yesterday, big money goes into the homelessness industry on the Left Coast. There are a lot of losers, namely […]

  2. […] lunatics are making Left Coast cities unlivable is that the liberals in charge are spending massive amounts of other people’s money to “solve” the problem by subsidizing […]


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