San Jose leaders announce plan to reduce homelessness with emergency housing and jobs

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SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Seeking to tackle homelessness in San Jose, city leaders on Wednesday announced a plan to quickly build emergency housing and bolster an employment program for the homeless. shelter.

Mayor Sam Liccardo, along with six city council members, announced a pair of memos to introduce an initiative, “Compassionate and Clean San Jose,” to build homes quickly and clean up the city’s plague.

Details of the plan were made public during an event at the Ferrari Street emergency temporary housing site in southern San Jose. About two dozen prefabricated buildings were installed in 2020, for a total of 80 units of so-called “quick-build apartments” at the site.

The property, which runs along Highway 101, has a dog park, community garden, laundry facilities, and common kitchen areas.

Site of temporary emergency housing on Ferrari Street in San José. (TUSEN)

City officials said the Compassionate and Clean San Jose plan proposes to triple the number of quick-build apartments by the end of 2022, bringing the total to 1,000. The city would also seek funding from the city. ‘State as part of the Homekey project to convert 300 additional motel units into temporary housing.

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If the plan is approved, increasing the number of temporary housing could reduce the city’s homeless population by 20%, according to Liccardo.

As for cleaning up debris from the many homeless camps across the city, the plan also proposes to quadruple the number of workers in the San Jose Bridge program from 50 to 200.

The program employs homeless residents to work on beautification projects. Among other ideas, the plan would also include the deployment of surveillance cameras at illegal dumping hotspots.

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Permanent housing costs between $ 750,000 and $ 800,000 per unit and can take years to build, according to Liccardo.

“We’re on to something. What we do works. It’s about building homes faster and more cost effectively. Getting more people off the streets and more momentum is built. We are grateful for the incredible generosity of these people and organizations, ”said Liccardo.

The proposal did not specify which six districts would be targeted for quick-build apartment sites, only that “staff should prioritize council districts that have not yet housed an emergency interim housing community or an emergency housing community. transitional housing community “.

“We will obviously move forward in the coming weeks in council with many important discussions on each of these initiatives,” said the mayor. “And I’m hopeful given the support we’ve already seen with so many board members, already doing their part, moving forward with real leadership, working with our communities to find places where we can do. room for so many ours. We will be successful, hopefully, when that happens to the full board. “

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Jacky, a resident of Ferrari Street, announced to an enthusiastic crowd that Wednesday was her last day on the housing site. The San Jose native had been homeless since 2007, but has since signed an apartment lease with her husband.

“I want other people like me to be successful. Successful job search, housing, everything, ”said Jacky.

The memos from Compassionate and Clean San Jose will be presented to the Rules Committee on September 29.

The notes can be read here:

https://sanjose.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5146165&GUID=9F9050A9-C454-4318-8ABE-25B01241CE02&Options=ID%7CText%7C&Search=752

https://sanjose.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5146170&GUID=8B75785C-8336-485D-BDFE-713C44D351D8&Options=ID%7CText%7C&Search=753

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