Ho had threatened in August to file charges against city officials if they didn’t implement changes within 30 days. In a letter to the city, Ho demanded that Sacramento implement a daytime camping ban where homeless people have to put their belongings in storage between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Ho was politicizing the issue. The city has added 1,200 emergency shelter beds, passed ordinances to protect sidewalks and schools and has created more affordable housing, Steinberg said in a statement.
The city is trying to avoid “the futile trap of just moving people endlessly from one block to the next,” Steinberg said. People’s frustrations are “absolutely justified” but Ho’s actions are a “performative distraction,” he said.
“The city needs real partnership from the region’s leaders, not politics and lawsuits,” he said.
City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood’s office has also repeatedly urged Ho to work with the city to address the issue, she said.
“It sadly appears the DA would rather point fingers and cast blame than partner to achieve meaningful solutions for our community,” Alcala Wood said in a statement.
Ho, elected in 2022 after vowing on the campaign trail to address the city’s homelessness crisis, said he’s asked the city to share real-time data about available shelter beds with law enforcement.
“This is a rare opportunity — a rare opportunity — for us to effectuate meaningful, efficient means of getting the critically, chronically unhoused off the streets,” Ho said.
Ho said he supports a variety of solutions including enforcing laws and establishing new programs to provide services to people facing addiction or mental health issues. He said he supports a statewide bond measure that would go toward building more treatment facilities. Voters will weigh in on that measure next year.
The dispute between the district attorney and the city was further complicated by a lawsuit filed by a homeless advocacy group earlier this year that resulted in an order from a federal judge temporarily banning the city from clearing homeless encampments during extreme heat. That order is now lifted but the group wants to see it extended.
The attorney for the homeless coalition also filed a complaint with the state bar this month, saying Ho abused his power by pushing the city to clear encampments when the order was in place.