California Homeless Population Soars, As California Officials Fight HUD Regulations To Free-Up Public Housing

When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in April that it was in the process of drafting new regulations to bar illegal aliens from public housing, the reactions from pro-illegal alien politicians were, predictably, shrieks of moral outrage.

“Cruel,” cried Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

“Mean-spirited,” howled San Diego Congressman Juan Vargas.

“Xenophobic,” charged Judith Goldiner of the Legal Aid Society, adding, “This latest attack on immigrant families is an effort to strip them of the fundamental human right to housing.”

Many other voices at the federal, state, and local level chimed in with similar sentiments, before finally running out of adjectives.

However, when news broke on Tuesday that homelessness in Los Angeles County jumped by 12 percent over the same time last year, and 16 percent in the city of Los Angeles, the best long-time County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas could muster was “stunned,” as in “we are pretty well stunned by this data.” On the other hand, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was described by the Los Angeles Times as “more upbeat” about the news, for reasons the Times neglects to mention. An estimated 59,000 people countywide are homeless, with 36,000 of them camped out on the “upbeat” mayor’s streets. And this was after a new sales tax that was supposed to solve the homeless problem kicked in last year.

Now the bad news. Los Angeles actually fared pretty well compared to other Southern California counties, or San Francisco which saw a 17 percent increase in its homeless population and a 45 percent growth in the number of people who are living in vehicles (which may explain Mayor Garcetti’s cheery disposition).

The pro-illegal alien advocates are bemoaning the fact that people with no right to be in the country will now be denied what they call “the fundamental right to housing” (at the expense of American taxpayers – they don’t mention that part). But what they aren’t taking into account is that many Americans, including veterans and families with children are denied public housing – because illegal aliens are occupying available units. And none of them seem to think that it is mean-spirited and cruel to provide public housing to trespassing foreign nationals while forcing citizen families and veterans to sleep on the streets.

Nor do any of these politicians seem to give much thought to the impact of the ongoing border crisis that is funneling a hundred thousand new migrants a month into American communities, most of whom lack the wherewithal to pay for basic necessities like food and housing, will have on the homelessness crisis. Homelessness, like immigration, is a complex issue that defies simple solutions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t, or shouldn’t take logical steps like barring illegal aliens from public housing and deterring still more from crossing our borders.

Barring illegal aliens from public housing, as HUD is attempting to do, won’t solve the homelessness problem in California, any more than the new sales tax did. But freeing up tens of thousands of taxpayer subsidized units will help somewhat, at least. And that’s a good start. Otherwise, like Mayor Garcetti, we can all just learn to be upbeat because at least where we are isn’t as bad as San Francisco.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Govt is not denying illegals housing, they just have to find landlords willing to rent to them, just like many citizens have to, at full rent.
    Considering the large families these illegals produce, and willingness to live together, they should be able to afford more than small families, or single adults can pay.
    Many citizens are paying more than they can afford, while on a waitlist, up to 6 yrs in Calif, for sect 8 assistace.

  2. avatar

    Not to mention the funding “crisis” in LA public schools now that the school board caved to the demands of the teachers union. Why are they all ignoring the fact that LA public schools are exploding with illegal alien kids that LA taxpayers have evidently agreed to pay for their education and free remedial schooling. At least LA voters were recently not quite stupid enough to vote themselves even larger property taxes to pay for that. (Or at least partly pay for the unfunded teachers union benefits)

    • avatar

      I think they wouldn’t leave all they have to come here and end up on the streets if they knew we will not give them **** if they just jump the border illegally! I mean would you bring your family here if you would end up homeless on the street? I wouldn’t!

  3. avatar
    Alabaster McGillicuddy on

    Do you think when the illegals find there is no free s**t they will stay away??

    • avatar

      I think they wouldn’t leave all they have to come here and end up on the streets if they knew we will not give them **** if they just jump the border illegally! I mean would you bring your family here if you would end up homeless on the street? I wouldn’t!