Let’s End Homelessness by Expanding What Works!

Ask the City Council to support what works: more quick-build apartment communities that help the homeless transition off the streets and into dignified units we can build at a fraction of the cost of other efforts.

Members of the San Jose City Council: 

At the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, San José had 5,117 unsheltered residents and only 849 shelter beds available – and most of those were merely cots in congregated shelters, leaving residents vulnerable to infection from one another. 

With the onslaught of the pandemic, San José moved aggressively to build quick-build apartment communities.  Although apartment buildings typically take four or five years to develop in the Bay Area, within a year, the City constructed three quick-build housing communities.  

We’re able to build this housing faster, and much more cost-effectively at less than 1/5th the construction price of the $800,000-per-unit cost of a standard apartment complex.  

Yet we need to identify the funding to build more. That’s why we need you to vote to approve Mayor Sam Liccardo’s March Budget Message. 

The Mayor’s budget would allocate the funding  to build enough quick-build communities for another 400 unhoused residents, to achieve a goal of creating 1,000 pandemic-era transitional units for our unhoused residents.  It would also deploy funding over time to manage and maintain these communities. 

Quick-build apartment communities accelerate our efforts to get unhoused residents off the street, and provide them a dignified path to permanent housing. They also create opportunities for win-wins with the surrounding community, utilizing the quick-build model to house homeless residents near Guadalupe River Park, while employing some of those same residents to clean, restore, and beautify the park, as they embark on a work-enabled path back to self-sufficiency.  

The City Council should support what works: more quick-build apartment communities. Council, please support the Mayor’s March Budget.