Listen: EPA Carries out Trump Threat, Cites San Francisco for Water Pollution Linked to Homeless Crisis
"Thing. where broadcasting today from San Francisco where president trump is continuing an all out attack on the city's homeless population and political leaders on Wednesday the trump administration filed an environmental notice of violation against San Francisco falsely claiming the city's homelessness crisis has caused water pollution this is trump announcing the move in a tirade against house speaker Nancy Pelosi who is home district is San Francisco. focus on our own district you see what's happening to our district we call it ten city it's terrible in fact we just sent a violation to the city of San Francisco unsafe water unsafe conditions environmental EPA are EPA which is doing a great job is sending Nancy Pelosi with all the talk about EPA. his needles and drugs all over the street this tense there's people that are dying in squalor. in the best location in San Francisco it used to be a great city now you have to see what's happened to San Francisco you happen to see what what's what the Democrats have allowed to happen. city officials have repeatedly rejected trump's unfounded claims that homelessness is connected to water quality the EPA's action comes a week after environmental protection agency chief financial Wheeler said in a letter to California governor Gavin Newsom that California's failing to enforce the clean water act Wheeler has also threatened to pull billions of dollars in federal highway funding to California accusing it of having the worst air quality in the United States a spokesperson for governor news and has called trump's most political retribution against California plain and simple California is home to twelve percent of the country's population but half of the country's on sheltered homeless people president trump has been pushing for a crackdown on the crisis for weeks The Washington Post reported last month trump ordered the White House officials to launch this effort and that his administration is considering actions like destroying homeless encampments California congressman roe kana told The Washington Post yet again this is bravado for trump's base with no interest in the actual policy experts recommendations to solve an issue conoce at for more we're joined here in San Francisco by two guests Jennifer Frieden Bach is the executive director of the coalition on homelessness and Paul Boden is the executive director of the western regional advocacy project or wrap a homeless advocacy group he was formerly homeless himself Jennifer freedom back let's begin with you the attack by president trump specifically on California now in San Francisco saying that homeless people are responsible for water pollution can you respond overall. yeah I mean it's it's ridiculous on on a few fronts first of all corsair Francisco filters its water there's there's no link to water pollution but more importantly is that trump himself is in a position where he could truly address this crises we have a situation where we have you know in San Francisco about twenty one thousand people experiencing homelessness every year and that can be traced right back to his feet on his wedding gauged in massive cuts to hide he's also done in action in restoring the hud budget which is where the roots of this crisis began when you know the hud budget has been cut so dramatically starting in the late seventies and through the early eighties and has continued since just this divestment from insuring that people in the US have a safe and decent place to call home so it's really ironic that he's complaining about it and then causing the problem and doing nothing to solve it. well I'd like to turn to had secretary that's housing and urban development secretary Ben Carson discussing California's housing crisis on fox news last month. a lot of these people have mental health issues a lot of men of drug addiction some of them simply have fallen on hard times and don't know how to deal with it but as a compassionate society it is something that we have to do something about we can't just talk about it should it be the responsibility of the federal government now these are local problems and the things that work best are when the local authorities take appropriate attention to these problems and then the federal government can help from the state government can help them. so that's had secretary Dr Ben Carson I po Boden if you could respond yeah it's just it's so profoundly ridiculous that this is the person that's running hi when you look at the nineteen thirty seven housing act that created. it said very clearly and that legislation that it was the federal government's responsibility to ensure that people have a clean safe adequate place to live in nineteen ninety eight they amended that to say the federal government cannot be held accountable to do that during the welfare reform must that Newt Gingrich and signed by Clinton but the reason hide was created in this is the individual charged with administering that that federal department is to ensure housing is available to poor people throughout the United States and this is in a California or a San Francisco issue sample California may have a larger number of people according to hides point in time head count but that's because they go out on January twenty fifth every other year and do a head count and that's how they did they come up with the number of homeless people in the United States that's ridiculous and of course warm weather climates are gonna have a higher number we don't know what the number of homeless people as with any specificity because it's something that poor people go in and out of all the time this is a federal responsibility to ensure that people in the United States have a decent place to live that they can afford and we now spend fifty four billion dollars a year in two thousand four constant dollars less on affordable housing than we did before the homeless crisis kicked in in the early nineteen eighties restore that funding look at the cause and effect of eliminating that funding and you'll see the numbers of homeless people go way down because we all know nothing and homelessness like a home. I'd like to turn to San Francisco mayor London braid talking about the causes of homelessness and San Francisco she was interviewed on PBS last month. housing affordability is at the core of what I know is a challenge for even middle income families struggling to live in San Francisco between twenty ten and twenty fifteen the city we concentrate on jobs jobs jobs with a two point six percent unemployment rate but during that same time for every eight jobs we create it we created one unit of housing and then it was like a battle between people who are moving here people have lived here folks are being pushed out of communities that they were born and raised in like my friends and family and and including the public housing I grew up in it was three hundred units it was torn down and only two hundred units were built so there were a lot of mistakes that were made around housing and housing production and over around a portable housing"