Concern over plan to build temporary housing for homeless in San Jose

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The city of San Jose will move forward with a plan to build manufactured homes for the homeless. (KGO-TV)

The city of San Jose will move forward with a plan to build manufactured homes for the homeless. It's a temporary plan meant to help with the region's housing crisis, but some believe there were better options.

The city council meeting went past midnight Wednesday morning. In the end, the council voted 8 to 3 in favor of building temporary housing for the homeless.

Slated for a 6-acre city-owned plot in the city's Willow Glen neighborhood between Highway 87 and the Almaden Expressway, it's the first project of its kind.

Not everyone is thrilled about it.

"Working class poor people already in that neighborhood, whether it's the mobile home park or one of the other low-income housing projects, and they evoked concern," San Jose city councilman Pierluigi Oliverio said.

The concern is over the newly-approved plan to convert this area into homes for the homeless -- portable homes -- that will house nearly 100 people.

Councilman Oliverio, whose district includes the proposed site, says he wanted permanent housing that could've accommodated more than 1,000 residents.

But his proposal was turned down by the council Tuesday night, partly because the project wouldn't have been done for another four years.

"That would've provided a much better sense of community, building community, versus having a segregated, concentrated, low-income area," Oliverio said.

Instead, the area will be converted by next spring - a quick, short-term solution that was praised by a neighbor next door.

"I've been in that situation and I feel like the valley needs more opening houses for the people who don't have a house. I definitely agree with that," San Jose resident Stephanie Toscano said.

Some homeless advocates say the decision is an encouraging sign.

"A program like this is very necessary and anything that's meeting immediate needs for homelessness," homeless advocate Brent Adams said.

However, some in the neighborhood are worried about rising crime rates.

The project is expected to remain in place through the year 2032 and will cost up to $15 million to build.

A resident application process is being worked on.
Related Topics:
newshomelesshousingconstructionSan Jose
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