San Jose: San José to Expand on Innovative Homelessness Solutions: New Quick-Build Communities, Additional Hotel Conversion, and Permanent Supportive Housing
The Californer/10197706

June 22, 2022

Media Contact:
Rachel Davis, Chief Communications Officer, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo,

SAN JOSÉ, CA– On Tuesday, Mayor Sam Liccardo and the City of San José doubled down on a slew of innovative housing solutions to help in the city's response to combating the homelessness crisis. The city built on the current success of San José's emergency interim housing communities and added 400 new units, approved the purchase of the 89-room Arena Hotel with Homekey funds, and added 561 new affordable housing units.

"The traditional approach to building housing is not fast enough to meet the urgency of this homelessness crisis," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo."San José is expanding on our success of quick-build interim housing, tackling unsheltered homelessness head on, and embracing nimble, innovative approaches that enable cost-effective and rapid solutions while remaining committed to permanent housing for our most vulnerable residents."

Quick-Build Communities

In 2021, Mayor Liccardo set the goal of 1,000 total resident beds in quick-build communities completed, acquired, or under development by the end of 2022. San José's quick-build communities are built in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional apartments. Through these quick-build communities, San José has already housed nearly 900 unhoused residents, for the first time since 2015 halting the increase in unsheltered homeless in San José and Countywide, based on the 2022 countywide point-in-time census.

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Tuesday, the Mayor and City Council voted to expand on the success of the City's first three quick-build communities by approving the development of 400 additional interim housing beds across the city, and moved forward with development on four new quick-build sites across San José that have the potential for another 280 resident beds total.
The City Council approved expansions at:
  • The Guadalupe SJPD Lot E quick-build community, currently under construction- is currently under construction and originally included 76 beds for unhoused residents with priority given to those living in Guadalupe River Park and nearby trails. Today, Council approved expanding the capacity by up to 20 additional beds onsite.
  • The City will also expand the Rue Ferrari quick-build community by up to 100 beds, within the site's existing boundaries. Rue Ferrari currently has 118 beds and is located in south San José.

The Council approved moving forward development efforts for:
  • A new quick-build community in District 4 directly adjacent to the Dr. Robert Gross percolation ponds on Noble Avenue with room for up to 100 beds.
  • A new quick-build community in District 10 on Caltrans-owned land at Great Oaks Boulevard and Highway 85 with room for up to 100 beds.
  • Additionally, City Staff was directed to work with the District 4 and 10 Council offices in parallel to evaluate other feasible sites in the districts.

The Council approved prioritizing future development efforts after sufficient progress on the four other sites for:
  • A new quick-build community in District 5 at Jackson Avenue and an I-680 offramp with room for up to 50 beds.
  • A new quick-build community in District 1 at northwest corner of the Prospect Road overpass of Highway 85 with room for up to 30 beds.

Of the 1,000 quick-build interim housing bed goal, 317 are built, 76 are under construction, and 204 are under development.

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Currently, the City and nonprofit partners such as HomeFirst, PATH, and Abode operate interim housing sites providing 317 emergency interim housing beds at Rue Ferrari, Bernal and Monterey, and Evans Lane. Since 2020, the City has sheltered over 887 individuals at its Bridge Housing Communities (BHC) Mabury and Felipe, and the three Emergency Interim Housing Communities (EIHCs).

Homekey Hotel Conversion
Council also voted to accept $25.2 million in state funding through Homekey for the purchase and conversion of the 89-room Arena Hotel on the Alameda in San José. Hotel conversions for interim and permanent housing was pioneered by San José in 2016 with the acquisitions of the Plaza Hotel and Casa de Novo prior to the state's Homekey program. In 2020, the City was awarded $14.5 million in Homekey funding to buy the 76-room SureStay Hotel.

Funding New Affordable Housing - 561 New Apartment Homes

Council approved $53 million for 448 new affordable apartments of permanent housing across in four individual developments, of which 197 will be reserved as permanent supportive housing (PSH) for people exiting homelessness including:
  • Tamien Station: 135 affordable apartments for extremely low-income and low-income individuals and families, of which 67 will be permanent supportive housing. Over half of the units will be 2 and 3-bed apartments aimed at housing families.
  • The Charles: 99 total apartments, of which 49 PSH units.
  • 1860 Alum Rock: 60 total apartments, of which 30 PSH units.
  • 777 West San Carlos: 154 total apartments, of which 51 PSH units; including a 3,000 square foot childcare center with 1,875 square feet outdoor play area.

About the City of San José

With more than one million residents, San José comprises the 10th largest city in the United States, and one of its most diverse cities. San José's transformation into a global innovation center in the heart of Silicon Valley has resulted in the world's greatest concentration of technology talent and development.

Filed Under: Government, City

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