On Tuesday, August 29th, City Council spent over 4 hours hearing public comment and deliberating the various options presented by staff and Council. The following recommendations for temporary housing for our city’s homeless individuals were approved:
- Council will maintain the original direction of identifying potential sites for siting a temporary housing facility in each Council district.
- The Housing Department will begin looking for additional sites that can potentially host a Bridge Housing Community (BHC), including commercial and/or industrial sites and underutilized public lands currently owned by Santa Clara County, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and Caltrans. The department will write a letter to these agencies requesting an inventory of lands that could be used as potential sites.
- The original evaluation criteria for potential sites was revised to the following:
- Access to transit or a commitment from another agency to provide transportation;
- Ready access to utilities (electricity, water, and sanitary sewer); and
- A vacant or minimally developed site of at least 0.50 acres or a 10,000 square foot building plus parking for 16 vehicles and a dumpster enclosure.
- The Housing Department will continue to coordinate with the District 3 Office and Destination: Home in planning next steps for the development of a Homeless Task Force.
- Within 60 days, the Housing Department will return to Council with the following:
- A prioritized list of potential BHC sites in order of viability and readiness for development. The Housing Department will seek Council direction as to whether or not to proceed with a project on three or fewer sites.
- A detailed community outreach plan, which should include:
- A small number of regional community meetings (e.g; North, South, East, West and Central San Jose) to begin the outreach process;
- Participation at each community meeting from the project designer, developer, and program operator to provide details of tiny home prototype, program structure, security, operations, good neighbor plans, etc;
- Management of the meeting by an experienced professional facilitator, preferably one who will consider work on a pro-bono basis; and
- Public forums to receive input from the community, including possible suggestions to homeless housing solutions.
- A recommendation as to whether the benefits of a BHC pilot program outweigh the opportunity cost of the resources and staff time necessary to implement it.
- An account of the funding that is currently set aside for the BHC project, and identification of other potential homelessness programs or projects that the dollars could be used to support.
- A comprehensive timeline for future work on BHCs, which should indicate the length of an outreach process and outline for how long a potential task force process would take, and should also estimate when the Council would be able to approve a final BHC project and when that project would be up and running.
Please note that this item will be returning to Council within 60 days. You can watch the discussion at the Council meeting here. For the most up to date information on Bridge Housing Communities, please visit the BHC website.