East Palo Alto takes up housing crisis with pilot RV program

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Silicon Valley community is taking a shot at addressing the housing crisis by helping those who live in parked RVs.

The East Palo Alto City Council approved their first RV pilot program after a lengthy late-night vote Tuesday.

They hope the program will help alleviate some of the stresses of having parked Campers and RV's lining various streets in the city.

"We need a place to stay but we pretty much in the middle of the street," said Victor German. He's been living in his camper onsite for close to a year.

The area has become an eyesore where many have been forced to live due to the unaffordable housing crisis.

"Some people are hardworking, but in the Bay Area right here, you can't afford to rent an apartment," said Vicente Moreno, an RV dweller.

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The city is teaming up with Project WeHOPE to open up a nearby city-owned lot and allow RV dwellers to park safely while they transition to permanent housing.

"We're going to assign case managers to each of the families so that they'll have someone to help them navigate to that role of self-sufficiency," said Pastor Paul J. Bains, Project WeHOPE founder.

City officials admit this one-year pilot program has its challenges.

"There have been concerns form residents that live nearby about the potential impacts of this program," said East Palo Alto city manager, Carlos Martinez.

Security and sanitary issues have been raised as concerns. Mobile hygiene units will be made available to the RV site.

But once the site opens in November the area will only be able to accommodate around 20 RV's.

"It would help us a lot," said German.

While many dwellers appreciate the help, some say it is a temporary solution to a housing problem with no real end in sight.

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