- If elected, Elder would declare a "homeless emergency" to suspend the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which reduces the environmental impacts of proposed projects.
- Elder said homeless individuals with schizophrenia should be institutionalized for safety reasons.
- By removing rules and regulations, Elder said building cost-effective housing would only take months.
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In an August 2 interview with the Sacramento Bee, Republican candidate for California governor Larry Elder said that, if elected, he would implement a plan to house homeless Californians created by former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Elder said he would declare a "homeless emergency" in which he would suspend the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) so that he can "unleash" developers and contractors who would be able to build low-cost housing and apartments on government land.
The California Department of General Services evaluated over 44,000 parcels of land and developed a map of suitable sites for affordable housing throughout the state.
"I've talked to a lot of developers, and a lot of them are completely demoralized, disillusioned, and many of them are building outside of California precisely because of [CEQA]."
Elder said that the government also needs to deal with the underlying reasons that cause homelessness in addition to building cost-effective housing.
"We have a certain percentage of people who are on the streets who are simply schizophrenic. By that, I mean a danger to themselves or others," Elder said. "Some percentage - I'm not sure how many - literally have to be removed from the street and put in a mental institution for their own safety and for the safety of the rest of the homeless population."
Additionally, Elder said the rest of the homeless population is "probably alcoholics, mentally ill, or have substance abuse problems," and needs treatment.
Asked by Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton about the timeline it would take to implement the plan, Elder said he thinks it would only take a matter of months to build cost-effective housing if burdensome rules and regulations were removed.
Although Carson said Garcetti had signed off on the plan, it did not go forward because Donald Trump did not win a second term.
"If I am elected governor, if I'm lucky enough to be put in that position, and I fail to solve the homeless problem, then I will have been a failure. I'm going to make it one of my top priorities," Elder said.