Carson: Progress in U.S. Homelessness Hurt By “Crisis Level” Rise in California

For the 3rd year in a row, the nation’s homeless population rose, driven by a spike in California.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson sees progress nationally but is calling homelessness in California “crisis level” and telling local and state officials to tackle it with urgency.

CBS reports the federal government is reporting a 2.7% increase in the nation’s homeless population driven by a spike in California, according to an annual count that took place in January 2019.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is reporting its third consecutive uptick in its homelessness projection for the country, based on a summary of its annual report obtained by The Associated Press.

President Trump has been highly critical of the homeless problem in California, and HUD said the increase seen in its January snapshot was caused “entirely” by a 16.4% increase in California’s homeless population.

“As we look across our nation, we see great progress, but we’re also seeing a continued increase in street homelessness along our West Coast where the cost of housing is extremely high,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “In fact, homelessness in California is at a crisis level and needs to be addressed by local and state leaders with crisis-like urgency.”

There have been reports that the Trump administration is considering moving homeless people in California off the streets and into unused federal buildings. Carson hinted at that plan when asked about the homeless numbers on Fox News on Friday.

WATCH: (August 19th 2019 Report)

A ambitious proposal hopes to crowdfund a massive $3 billion dollar private city that includes dorm housing and underground tunnels to house the homeless.

The high tech city envisioned seems like a scene straight out of a “black mirror” episode with RFID-enabled wristbands to gain access to dorm rooms and purchasing items with virtual credits.

CBS local reports a California crowdfunding effort is hoping to solve the U.S. homeless crisis by building a 300-acre city open exclusively to those without a home.

Daune Nason, founder of the Folsom-based Citizens Again, released details Thursday of his plans for an estimated $3 billion private city equipped with amenities and services for a 150,000 “high-needs” population.

California’s homeless population in 2018 was almost 130,000, nearly a quarter of the national total, according to the most recent federal data.

“Qualified citizens” – those who meet as-yet undisclosed criteria – will be allowed to live in the city and are free to leave whenever they wish, says Nason, who adds, “Some might want to stay forever.”

According to a press release, the all-inclusive city will offer high-density housing in dormitories consisting of sleeping quarters and communal bathrooms with private showers.

Residents would be provided RFID-enabled wristbands to gain access to their dorm rooms as well as perform tasks such as job check-in, purchasing items with credits, medicine consumption, and more.

Each of the four neighborhoods will have their own cafeteria and kitchen and multiple scheduled eating times to accommodate a 150,000-person population, according to Nason.