This Silicon Valley town wants to convert hotels into homeless housing

San Jose wants to pay $ 113 million to convert four hotels into housing to help solve its homelessness crisis.

Funding is expected to come from the state’s Project Homekey program, which subsidizes emergency housing managed by local governments and nonprofits. Applications opened on September 30 and individual funding can be granted as early as 45 days after submitting an application. The Bay Area received approximately $ 200 million in potential funding during the second round of the Homekey project.

San Jose City Council is expected to approve his candidacy submission on Tuesday.

Through a collaborative initiative with the county and other partners, San Jose aims to house 20,000 people by 2025. The reallocation of four hotels — the Arena Hotel, Pacific Motor Inn, Pavilion Inn and Residence Inn — more a city-owned emergency housing site at the intersection of Branham Lane and Monterey Road would add 548 units. Non-profit housing groups will help provide support services in permanent and temporary housing.

The homelessness crisis in the region has become increasingly serious in recent years, with the number of homeless people estimated at over 6,000 in 2019, the most recent figure due to the COVID pandemic -19. The five existing temporary housing sites in the city can accommodate 300 people.

If funding is secured, the 89-unit Arena Hotel at 817 The Alameda will be a permanent housing project in partnership with Urban Housing Communities and HomeFirst.

Previous proposals to shelter homeless residents were rejected by neighboring residents and businesses.

District 6 Council Member Dev Davis is ready to address any concerns about the Arena Hotel project with a Neighborhood Advisory Group: “(The Advisory Group) is a commitment to the neighbors that we don’t just go. put something here and go. “

Davis stressed the importance of each of the five sites providing access to support services.

“Every person on the street faces some sort of problem,” she said. “I am convinced that everyone should be connected to the services that are right for them, whether they are on site in hotels or elsewhere.”

Downtown, the city is working with PATH Ventures to convert the Pacific Motor Inn at 455 South Second Street into 72 permanent housing units, and will work with the Santa Clara County Housing Authority and the Bill Wilson Center to create 61 temporary shelters for homeless youth. accommodation at the Pavilion Inn at 1280 North Fourth Street.

Bill Wilson Center CEO Sparky Harlan expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership: “The location of the site is perfect for access to public transportation and close to county services.

District 3 council member Raul Peralez is optimistic about the presentation of the new housing sites to his constituents. “I’m no stranger to the challenges of getting community support for housing, but we’ve been quite successful in organizing our community. The first step is always awareness raising, making sure the community is aware of the projects, organizing community meetings to be able to discuss how they work and who is running them.

The Santa Clara County Housing Authority will also work with the city to create permanent family housing in the 150-unit Residence Inn located at 6111 San Ignacio Avenue. District 2 council member Sergio Jimenez was not immediately available for comment.

The final site will be a city-owned 176 unit emergency interim housing property, developed in collaboration with LifeMoves, at the intersection of Branham Lane and Monterey Road. The location is currently a homeless camp which is the main complaint District 10 Council member Matt Mahan receives at his office.

Mahan believes that the new housing sites must be profitable in order to leave funding for essential services.

“County funding and resources really need to be spent on mental health support, addiction treatment, job training and job placement. The kind of supportive services that give people a chance to get back on their feet, ”Mahan told the San José Spotlight.

Last year, Santa Clara County received $ 63 million in Homekey funds to develop a total of 364 units across the county. This included $ 12 million to convert a 76-unit hotel, SureStay, in North San Jose, into permanent affordable housing.

“It’s amazing how we can come together to generate higher leveraged results,” said Preston Prince, executive director of the Santa Clara County Housing Authority.

Contact Kristen Pizzo at [email protected]

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