Sep 17, 2019

Trump floats an "individual task force" against homelessness

On his way to California on Tuesday, President Trump told reporters that he is considering an "individual task force" to take on the issue of homelessness in California, which he said is "destroying" cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“We’re looking at it very seriously. I’ve spoken to [HUD] Secretary Carson in terms of the housing element. But we have people living in our… best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings, where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige. In many cases they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents. Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building."

The big picture: There is speculation that Trump is preparing to declare a "war on homelessness" — especially in California, where the president has long suggested that the homelessness crisis may require federal intervention, per the Washington Post.

  • Trump administration officials spent several days in Los Angeles meeting with officials about how to tackle homelessness, with some suggesting that the president could move to "clear homeless encampments by moving people into government-run shelters on federal land," per the LA Times.
  • In a call with reporters this week, White House economists floated the idea of using police as a "tool to help get [the homeless] off the streets," but declined to provide more details, according to the Washington Post.

Go deeper

Trump: EPA to hit San Francisco with violations notice over homeless crisis

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday night that the Environmental Protection Agency will issue a notice to San Francisco declaring it has committed environmental violations because of its homeless crisis.

Details: Per pool reporter Peter Baker, Trump said the EPA would serve the city of San Francisco with a notice because there was "tremendous" pollution flowing into the ocean because of waste in storm sewers, specifically citing used needles. 

Go deeperArrowSep 19, 2019

Trump administration threatens California with highway funding cuts

Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency has sent the California Air Resources Board a letter threatening to cut federal highway funding because of air pollution issues — claiming that the state has the "worst air quality" in the U.S.

Why it matters: The letter, first reported by the Sacramento Bee, from EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler declaring that California has failed to "carry out its most basic tasks under the Clean Air Act" marks the latest in a series of battles between the Trump administration and the liberal state.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019

Renter protections on the rise in response to sky-high housing costs

Reproduced from NMHC; Map: Axios Visuals

California Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday signed legislation capping annual rent increases at 5% a year plus inflation for the next decade.

Why it matters: California is the third state this year to pass major renter protections in response to sky-high housing costs, a surge of homelessness in major cities and an outcry from residents who feel they are at the mercy of greedy landlords.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019