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Emergency Bridge Housing Communities (AB 2176)

On March 5, 2018, the Housing Department released an Information Memo to the Mayor and City Council announcing the removal of the Bridge Housing Communities (BHC) candidate site identified on Hellyer Avenue in District 2 from the list of potential BHC project locations. For the past two years, the City of San José has been in discussion with the County of Santa Clara on a possible land trade for property needed by the City to widen the roadways at Martial Cottle Park as well as Branham Lane and Snell Avenue. Recently, the City and County identified several City owned parcels meeting the County's requirement to complete the land trade. These parcels of land included the Hellyer Avenue site identified as one of the top three BHC sites.
 
While the Housing Department believed that the Hellyer Avenue site could still be utilized for a BHC once transferred to the County, the City has now learned that County funding restrictions require that the site be used for park purposes only. With the land trade between the City and County reaching its final phase of negotiations (terms of the transaction will be presented to the City Council for approval this spring), and the use restrictions defined, the Housing Department has decided to remove the Hellyer Avenue site from the list of potential BHC locations.
 
The Housing Department is not proposing a replacement site for consideration at this time. Staff will continue to evaluate the remaining two candidate sites identified for BHC. The March 1 community meeting that was originally postponed to accommodate the larger number of residents will not be rescheduled.



On February 12, 2018, the City of San José Department of Housing released an Information Memo to the San José Mayor and City Council regarding the locations of the top three candidate sites for Bridge Housing Communities. Over the next several months, the Housing Department will be hosting community meetings in neighborhoods adjacent to the three candidate sites as well as completing an environmental review. Housing Department staff anticipate returning to the City Council in early to late summer 2018 for the final site selection.

The Housing Department has developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (English FAQ, Spanish FAQ, Vietnamese FAQ) to respond to the questions that the City has received. If you have any comments or questions about the BHCs, please email .




On Monday, December 4, 2017, Gensler Architectural Firm unveiled two design concepts for emergency sleeping cabins and two conceptual site designs for Bridge Housing Communities.  Gensler presented a conceptual cabin and site design during the press conference.  For additional information, contact James Stagi by email or by calling 408-535-8234.


For additional information on memorandums and reports distributed on the Bridge Housing Communities, see the Reports and Memos page.

Background
Homelessness, as well as the lack of available housing for extremely low-income populations, continues to be pressing issues for the City of San José and Santa Clara County as a whole.  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, among the 48 Major City Continuums of Care, Santa Clara County has:
  • The third highest rate of unsheltered homelessness;
  • The third largest number of chronically homeless person;
  • The fifth largest number of unaccompanied homeless youth;
  • The fifth largest number of homeless veterans; and
  • The seventh largest number of homeless persons on any given night.

The City's strategy in addressing the homelessness issue combines coordinated services and housing that include: 1) Essential Services; 2) Interim Housing Solutions; and 3) Permanent Housing Solutions.  The City has invested funds in 533 new permanent apartments to house formally homeless individuals however it will take three to four years before people can move into their homes.  Homeless advocates, neighbors, and environmentalists have asked what can be done to get people off of the streets more quickly.

On September 27, 2016, AB 2176, authored by Assembly Member Nora Campos, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.  Effective January 1, 2017, the bill amended the Shelter Crisis Act to authorize a five-year pilot program allowing the City of San José, upon a declaration of a shelter crisis, to create emergency Bridge Housing Communities (BHC) as one model of interim housing for homeless residents. Over the past several months, the Housing Department has been trying to identify viable sites in an attempt to identify one Bridge Housing Community in each District.  Each site is expected to house no more than 25 people within 20 Emergency Sleeping Cabins.  The number may fluctuate based on the constraints of the site.  Each site will also have community restrooms, showers, a cooking facility, and common space for residents, There will be case managers on site case managers that will work with the residents.  The Housing Department is targeting early 2018 to select sites and begin the development process.