Report: Trump Admin Exploring Federal Internment Of California’s Homeless
The Trump administration is preparing to make a move on tackling the homeless situation in California, according to The Washington Post. Just days after a top official working on homelessness policy was ousted, White House officials are now expected to present President Donald Trump with a plan of action.
Matthew Doherty, who was appointed to his post during the Obama administration and until Friday served as executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, reportedly was told “the administration no longer wishes to have me.”
Career staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) told The Post they learned during an internal meeting that “Doherty was not willing to compromise his principles and follow the Trump administration’s lead on homelessness policy.” One person added that “White House officials believed Doherty would not be willing to execute parts of its pending homelessness plan,” The Post said.
That plan could include moving homeless people in California from the streets to federal government facilities, though officials have insisted that no one would be moved forcefully. Trump, who has previously referred to the homeless crisis as “disgusting” and a “disgrace to our country,” sent administration officials to the West Coast earlier this year to assess the situation and devise remedies.
The president has also “expressed sympathy for real estate investors whose property values or quality of life could be hurt by homelessness,” The Post noted.
In September, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a report on homelessness in which policing was touted as a potential tool for addressing the matter, raising alarm among advocates.
The CEA report stated: “Of course, policies intended solely to arrest or jail homeless people simply because they are homeless are inhumane and wrong. At the same time, when paired with effective services, policing may be an important tool to help move people off the street and into shelter or housing.”
It also blamed skyrocketing homelessness partially on “more tolerable conditions for sleeping on the streets” and said homelessness may be lower in states that “engage in more stringent enforcement of quality of life issues, like restrictions on the use of tents and encampments, loitering, and other related activities.”
Diane Yentel, president and chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told The Post in September that the CEA’s “policy prescriptions completely miss the mark.”
“Deregulation, increased arrests and further criminalization won’t end homelessness,” she said. “Affordable homes — and the federal subsidies that make them possible — will.”