San Jose officials aim to reduce homelessness and plague in the neighborhood
Proposals aim to boost emergency housing, jobs and reduce illegal dumping
SAN JOSÉ, CA – San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and San José City Council members Sergio Jimenez, Raul Peralez, David Cohen, Dev Davis, Pam Foley and Matt Mahan announced bold solutions to tackle the crisis homeless people and beautify the city.
Their proposals, outlined in two separate memos, introduce a new initiative calling for a “compassionate and clean San José” that would triple the number of quick-build apartments in the city and double efforts to clean up neighborhoods.
The plan follows the announcement of the “America HouseAnd mobilize an unprecedented amount of federal and state funding available to address the homelessness crisis. The plan would bring the city’s total number of quick-build apartments – also known as emergency housing – to 1,000 under construction or completed by the end of 2022 and continue Homekey’s funding for 300 units. additional hotel / motel, which would reduce the homeless population of San José. more than 20%. The proposals also call for quadruple the current number of posts for San José Bridge – which employs homeless residents of San José in vocational training programs as they work to beautify the city – from 50 to 200.
The proposals call for an expansion of efforts to tackle illegal dumping, including the introduction of monetary rewards for those who cite illegal dumping activities, and the deployment of cameras at illegal dumping hot spots. Finally, the proposals call for an update to the vehicle reduction program approach, which was changed during shelter-in-place and operated in a hybrid model that responds to complaints from residents and includes some proactive enforcement.
On Monday, Mayor Liccardo joined US HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge by launching the Biden administration’s “House America” initiative, to achieve bold goals by December 2022 to house our homeless neighbors. Mayor Liccardo announced that San José’s “House America” goal is to relocate 1,500 people and advance the creation of 2,300 new transitional and permanent housing units – thanks to this proposal and to developments posted by measure A – by December 2022. As of January 2020, the city’s efforts, in collaboration with Santa Clara County, the Housing Authority, Destination: Home and a constellation of partner nonprofits, have relocated nearly 4,900 homeless residents.
“We have the opportunity to deploy an unprecedented level of resources to get things done and tackle two of our city’s most pressing challenges: providing housing solutions to homeless residents and fighting the scourge on our streets,” said the mayor of San José, Sam Liccardo. “We have proven that homes can be built in months rather than years, and at a fraction of the cost. We have also demonstrated the effectiveness of SJ Bridge, providing jobs for homeless residents while fighting the scourge. In the coming year, we must redouble our efforts and accelerate these efforts.
In 2019, the punctual census (PIT) counted 6,097 homeless residents in San José, including 5,117 homeless. In response to the pandemic, the City used prefabricated modular construction to quickly build three emergency interim housing communities for 317 previously homeless people, couples and families. The first proposal from mayor and council members Sergio Jimenez (D2), Raul Peralez (D3), Pam Foley (D9) and Matt Mahan (D10), will triple the emergency housing capacity to a total of 1,000 by adding 683 quick-build apartments. and continue funding State Homekey to acquire 300 hotel / motel units. This will increase housing capacity countywide from 28% to 54.4%, and reduce the homeless population by more than 20% in San José.
To fund the development of the quick-build apartments, the mayor and council members propose to leverage the unprecedented amount of funding San José is eligible for through Homekey, ARPA and a historic HHAP investment in local municipalities made possible by the efforts. advocacy campaign by mayors of major cities in California. The modular units would be spread across six sites in the six municipal districts that do not currently host a transitional housing site, and would prioritize housing for unprotected residents in the immediate surrounding neighborhoods to ensure that the entire community benefits directly from hosting an emergency housing site. The mayor and council members are also offering incentives for private landowners with large parking lots who might be willing to accommodate a transitional housing community given the limited availability of land.
In addition to emergency housing construction, the plan includes recommendations to add a temporary secure parking site for homeless residents living off RVs in District 2, and an aggressive approach to encourage the development of a sobering up center where treatment options can be identified for those arrested. for criminal offenses while actively under the influence of a drug.
Scourge of the neighborhood
The second proposal, “Clean San José” from mayor and council members David Cohen (D4), Dev Davis (D6), Pam Foley (D9) and Matt Mahan (D10), calls for quadruple the San José Bridge program , of which Mayor Liccardo recently announced an extension. The program currently has 50 participants. The most recent proposed expansion will allow an additional 100 residents on top of the planned expansion for a total of 200 bridging jobs, as well as adding up to 250 additional litter hotspots for frequent cleaning.
The memoranda from Compassionate and Clean San Jose will be heard at the Rules Committee meeting on September 29, 2021.
The press conference is available here.
San José Council Members:
Municipal Councilor Sergio Jimenez, District 2
“I am proud to work with the mayor and my colleagues to accelerate temporary housing solutions. As a City and as a society, we must prioritize the removal of people from the streets. I am particularly looking forward to partnering with the mayor in temporarily locating a “secure parking” site for recreational vehicles in or near the future police training center in my district. “
Councilor Raul Peralez, District 3
“It is important that we consider all opportunities to build more housing for our most vulnerable across the city, while providing human care and services. The faster these sites can be developed, the sooner we can break the cycle of chronic homelessness.
City Councilor David Cohen, District 4
“The scourge in our city is unacceptable at all levels and our community is counting on us to improve the City’s response. Ensuring that our homeless residents have access to employment opportunities as they work towards stable housing is essential to measurably improve the quality of life for all residents of San José. Additionally, we cannot expect residents’ statements to be the only source of identification of illegal landfills. Recording these known hot spots is an important tool to ensure that people who dump illegally are penalized and held accountable. “
Dev Davis Board Member, District 6
“Illegal dumping must stop and we must tackle what is happening on the streets now. It will take effort and money. By using American Recovery Plan Act dollars to employ homeless people through the San Jose Bridge Transitional Jobs Program, we can give people an income and clean our streets, streams and roads.
Board Member Pam Foley, District 9
“San José has a moral obligation to house every homeless person living on our streets, especially our homeless children and families. By building more housing for more people in our city, we can achieve this moral imperative. “
Board Member Matt Mahan, District 10
“All of us, including the homeless, deserve to live in a safe, clean and caring city. I strongly support the identification of public land for cost-effective, quick-build bridging housing and continue to call on the county to act quickly to identify the land we need to end street homelessness in our region. community.