Time and time again, I have opposed legislation which prioritized the interests of the big cities and wealthy coastal regions while failing to make room for solutions to the problems we have in the San Joaquin Valley. But today is one of the rare occasions I can confidently say that the San Joaquin Valley was not forgotten.
After the State Budget this year dedicated $5 million to combat homelessness in Merced and Stanislaus counties, the housing bills passed today promise to multiply that initial investment by more than ten times and put a roof over the heads of thousands of people. The package includes $1 billion to house veterans, investments to build affordable housing, and mortgage assistance programs to help people afford to stay in their homes. Representing the epicenter of the subprime mortgage crisis, I have seen what happens to families when safety nets fail to protect them from a crashing economy. I do not want to see hardworking parents lose their homes again.
We will not solve our housing crisis overnight. But we have deliberated about what to do for years, and you cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind. All of us have seen homeless individuals in the doorways of local businesses, in our parks, and in the alleys of our cities. Ensuring housing for the poorest in our communities is an essential element of our economic revitalization. We needed to take action, and today that is exactly what we did.
— Assemblymember Adam Gray