Santa Monica city officials last week approved a multimillion-dollar apartment unit for the homeless just days after the release of an audit which found California could not account for the $24 billion it spent on the state’s burgeoning homeless crisis. 

The 122-unit building for the homeless will include a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, along with ground floor retail and residential and commercial parking spaces. 

“Moving forward in bringing affordable and permanent supportive housing to city-owned land is a key step in our strategy to fulfill our Housing Element requirements,” Mayor Phil Brock said. “I look forward to the next steps and ultimately seeing families move into these new homes and thrive.”

The measure was approved days after the release of an audit which indicated the state had spent around $24 billion between 2018 and 2023 to tackle homelessness – but did not consistently track whether the huge outlay of public money did anything to actually improve the problem. 

LA MAYOR PLEADS FOR WEALTHY TO HELP BUY HOUSING FOR THE HOMELESS: ‘UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP’

Santa Monica pier

Sunrise view of Santa Monica Pier and Ferris Wheel with Neon Lights at day’s break, California. (Visions of America/Joseph Sohm/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH), the agency responsible for coordinating agencies and allocating resources for the homelessness programs blamed local governments for the problem, saying these municipalities must be held more accountable.

Fox News Digital reached out to Santa Monica officials questioning how the city will ensure funds are spent efficiently in light of the audit’s findings. 

Homeless encampments line the streets in Oakland, California

Homeless encampments line the streets in Oakland, California on Friday, March 15, 2024. The city remains plagued by homelessness as nearby businesses close their doors due to safety concerns. (DWS for Fox News Digital)

A city spokesperson said the state – like many other places – “is experiencing a housing and homelessness crisis, and all cities across the state are required to adopt a Housing Element that includes affordable housing.” 

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“Santa Monica has dedicated several city-owned sites for affordable projects, a key strategy to lower costs to develop this needed housing and meet the mandates in the council-approved Housing Element,” the spokesperson said. “The city is following this strategy with council recently approving the agreement to move forward with developments on three city-owned sites along Euclid Avenue.” 

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