Newsom Scraps Plans for Statewide Homeless Czar, Will Instead Rely on Homelessness Commission

This week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced he was abandoning his plans to appoint a cabinet-level secretary dedicated to homelessness. In speaking with the press, Newsom instead indicated his Administration’s intent to rely on the already-established Commission on Homelessness and Supportive Housing led by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Newsom initially announced the creation of the commission in February during his first state of the state address.

At the time, Newsom signaled he still planned to appoint a “homeless czar” to his cabinet to advise him on homelessness issues throughout the state. Several executive branch departments have also been tasked with addressing homelessness, and earlier this month, the Newsom Administration announced the newly created position of deputy secretary of homelessness within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, which reports to the Governor’s Office.