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27 December 2019 - 11:23
News ID: 448128
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US President Donald Trump has been strongly criticized for “vile and reprehensible” comments that trivialize the US homelessness crisis in an attempt to rebuke House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the architect of his impeachment, whose home state of California has one of the nation’s worst homeless problems.

RNA - In a series of tweets on Thursday sent from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the Republican president attacked Pelosi, the highest ranking Democrat in Congress who represents California's 12th congressional district.

“Nancy Pelosi’s District in California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S. when it come [sic] to the homeless & crime,” Trump tweeted. “It has gotten so bad, so fast – she has lost total control.”

In another post, he wrote: “Crazy Nancy should clean up her filthy dirty District & help the homeless there.”

The tirade was criticized by homeless advocates, who said the president is exploiting the issue for his own political gain, they argued.

 “Trump’s tweets are vile and reprehensible. The only time he utters the word homelessness is to use it as a political cudgel to try to embarrass perceived political enemies,” said Diane Yentel, chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

“Homelessness in California is indeed a crisis, as it is in many other areas of the country – one that demands urgent action at the federal, state and local levels. Federal action to solve the crisis is long overdue, but President Trump has tried, time and time again, to worsen homelessness in our country,” he added.

Trump has proposed drastically shrinking or eliminating federal programs that keep the lowest-income people affordably housed, tripling rents for the lowest-income subsidized residents, and raising rents for all subsidized residents, Yentel added.

Trump has long struggled to discredit Pelosi, who last week led Democratic-controlled House to impeach the president over abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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

The US 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.

In the January 2018 count, almost 553,000 people were counted as homeless. That number rose to about 568,000 this year.

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.

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