LOS ANGELES — The state of California needs to spend $8.1 billion annually if it wants to end homelessness by 2035. The Corporation for Supportive Housing’s California Homeless Housing Needs Assessment, released Tuesday, found that state and federal governments are likely to commit an average of $1.2 billion for affordable and supportive housing each year — $6.9 billion less than the actual need.

A quarter of the U.S. homeless population lives in California. According to the assessment, 225,053 households are experiencing homelessness and need housing. 

While the report found that California has invested record amounts of money to combat homelessness in recent years, it says the money has never been allocated with an understanding of what exactly is needed or how the funds should be spent. So the assessment provides a road map. 

Building enough affordable and supportive housing would require 2.7% of the state’s annual budget of $300-plus billion for the next 12 years.

Spending $8.1 billion each year could build 112,527 affordable apartments (at a cost of $5.7 billion), subsidize operations and rents for 225,053 apartments ($1.8 billion), provide supportive housing services for 62,966 Californians with disabilities ($488 million) and fund interim interventions for 32,235 individuals and families ($630 million).

The assessment found that 45% of people who access homelessness resources have a disability. People of color are also disproportionately affected. Homelessness among Latinos increased 30% in Los Angeles County between 2020 and 2022. About a third of the homeless population is Black, according to the most recent count from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority conducted earlier this year. 

Nearly 80% of extremely low-income California renters — or roughly 1.1 million people — are severely housing-burdened and spend more than half of their income on rent, putting them at increased risk of homelessness, the report found.

The California Homeless Housing Needs Assessment comes one week after Mayor Karen Bass issued an emergency declaration for homelessness in LA, where more than 40,000 individuals live without a home. 

The city of LA represents 9.6% of California’s population but 25% of the state’s unsheltered population, according to the emergency declaration. The number of unhoused people in the city has almost doubled over the past 10 years and is 18 times higher than the number in New York City and 14 times higher than Chicago.

Bass has said she plans to house at least 17,000 homeless people during her first year in office in both temporary and permanent housing. Her emergency declaration allows her office to spend money on homeless housing and services without City Council approval or a competitive bidding process to speed up the process. The city allocated a record $1.2 billion in its 2022-2023 fiscal year budget to combat homelessness.