SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The San Jose City Council will tackle the South Bay city’s homeless problem Tuesday as officials discuss some controversial proposed solutions being considered to get people off the streets.
The council will be debating a slew of measures throughout the day ahead of a scheduled public hearing that could get heated Tuesday night.
Since a huge homeless encampment known as “The Jungle” was dismantled last year, an estimated 5,000 homeless people have been scattered around San Jose.
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We’re going to need a lot of tools to be able to address this very serious problem, said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
One of the measures under consideration is extending an ordinance that would allowing churches to house people for 70 days a year without red tape or expensive permits.
There are also two more controversial proposals: one for temporary housing in manufactured homes on Evans Lane and another for permanent housing at a 162-unit apartment complex on Senter Road.
The planning commission approved the complex in April, but neighbors appealed.
Mayor Liccardo said he understands their concerns, but insists that housing the homeless is a better solution.
The homeless already live in their neighborhoods, they just live on the streets, in the creeks, in the parks, said Liccardo. And it is much safer for those individuals and the neighborhood to get them housed.
Councilmember Tam Nguyen wants to talk about building a city-sanctioned encampment after seeing one in Portland.
I stayed with them for a night, so I learned the good and bad, said Nguyen. So I think it’s workable, just give it a chance.
One of the less controversial measures in front of the council today: 5 million dollars for capital improvements to landlords who agree to house homeless veterans.