One of the best ideas for quickly housing California’s homeless population is to build tiny homes on vacant lots in commercial and industrial areas. AP reported that the homes can be assembled in as little as 90 minutes – and can provide emergency housing more quickly than other options. It’s such a good idea that Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged $30 million in state funds to build 1,200 of them.

“We need to focus more energy and precision on addressing encampments. There’s no humanity there. People are dying on our watch,” the governor said while announcing the plan during a tour of four California cities 14 months ago. It sounded sensible. Sacramento County opened its second tiny home village last December. An editorial-board member toured one facility and found it to be tidy, orderly and awash in public services.

Yet, reflective of many instances with Newsom, his photo-op promises never materialized. The reasons have as much to do with California’s unruly bureaucracies as with Newsom’s short attention span. A recent report from CalMatters found “more than a year later, none of those tiny homes have welcomed a single resident. Only 150 have even been purchased.” The administration is now full of excuses.

Per the report, the state has blamed local governments for delays, but the locals say that “tiny homes have failed to materialize even when local leaders moved quickly to approve the project site.” It found it “difficult to know exactly what’s holding up these projects” – and the publication was unable to access emails between the governor’s office and local governments. It’s the latest example of an administration that lacks mastery over the details (and transparency).

The report also found predictable bureaucratic hurdles, with state edicts “for everything from vapor-resistant light fixtures to emergency exit lighting” adding costs and delays. San Jose required en-suite bathrooms, which nearly tripled the per-unit cost. It’s another reminder that the government is ill-suited to fix any problem and can’t do anything quickly. It also reminds us of the importance of following up after the governor makes a bold promise.