San Jose City Council Gives Tiny Homes Proposal Another Chance

UPDATE: The council voted 9-2 to build cabins for the homeless. Council members Don Rocha and Johnny Khamis opposed the plan, saying the so-called Bridge Home Communities would be too expensive. The next challenge for the city will be finding properties to place the cabins. Housing officials expect to release a list of potential sites by next month. Final approval for construction will require additional public outreach and environmental review. 

After public backlash quashed plans earlier this year to build tiny cabins for the homeless in San Jose, city officials are giving it another shot. But this time, there’s a new list of potential sites farther away from schools and pot clubs.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider a new rubric to rank possible places for the so-called tiny home communities, which would house about 25 people per site. Some 37 proposed sites remain after the city ruled out dozens of others deemed too small or too far away from public transit.

To narrow the number further, housing officials suggest a scoring matrix that factors in the property’s size, location and how easy it would be to develop it. Originally, the goal was to build a cluster of tiny homes in each of the city’s 10 council districts.

Last week, city officials unveiled two designs by Gensler architectural firm for the cabins, which would range from 80 to 140 square feet. The artist renderings, which were donated to the city, showcase two aesthetically pleasing geometric designs—one called the “folding home” with storage shelves and the other “better together” with broad windows.

City officials tapped Habitat for Humanity to build the structures and the nonprofit HomeFirst to run the villages. But the project is running out of time.

The council OK’d a pilot in August to build three villages throughout the city after a state law by termed-out Assemblywoman Nora Campos relaxed zoning laws to allow the tiny home construction.

Other cities, namely Oakland and Fresno, have taken advantage of the law to build the diminutive shelters. Meanwhile, several cities in Oregon, including Portland and Eugene, are years into their tiny homes experiment.

In San Jose, the idea has been stymied by community fears about public safety and protecting their own property values. Over the course of several public hearings earlier this year, tiny homes opponents made it clear that they thought of unsheltered residents as an underclass best kept out of sight.

But even for city leaders sympathetic to the plight of the local homeless population—one of the largest concentrations of unsheltered people of any U.S. city—the cost of tiny homes is problematic.

Twenty cabins on a half-acre would run up a tab of $90,550 per unit; 40 cabins on an acre would cost an estimated $73,125 per. Add security, meals and transportation adds another $10,000 to $17,000 per tiny home—all according to city projections.

Council members Don Rocha and Johnny Khamis—improbably allies, as the former tends toward progressive policies and the latter leans libertarian—believe the millions of dollars pegged for the sleeping cabins would be better spent on rent for existing housing.

In a shared memo, Rocha and Khamis direct staff to use the $2.3 million in one-time funding set aside for tiny homes to rapid re-housing instead. They also suggest accelerating other homeless outreach initiatives, such as the safe parking program.

Though Rocha initially supported tiny homes, he said the window for building them makes the project impractical. The Campos law that streamlines tiny homes construction, AB 2176, sunsets on Jan. 1, 2022. If building the cabins takes up to a year, as projected, that leaves the city a narrow window before the law expires.

“Placing people in existing housing would have the advantage of integrating them into existing neighborhoods and dispersing them throughout the city instead of looking for sites that are separated from existing residential areas,” Rocha and Khamis noted in their memo. “It would also have the advantage of allowing them to live in a standard housing unit that includes kitchen and restroom facilities within the unit, instead of a more primitive structure.”

However, the Housing Department pointed out that the tight rental market—which has a 4.7 percent vacancy rate—would make the rapid re-housing proposal a challenge.

Mayor Sam Liccardo, Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and councilors Chappie Jones and Sylvia Arenas agree that the city needs short-term shelters—known as “bridge housing”—until additional housing is available.

“We acknowledge the enormity of the problem, that there is no ‘silver-bullet’ strategy, and that staff resources are not endless,” they wrote in a shared memo. “Council action on bridge housing communities today, does not foreclose future consideration of sanctioned encampments or other interim solutions.”

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for December 12, 2017:

  •  The San Jose Improv is due for another five-year lease extension, this time with a 5 percent rent hike to $6,000 a month. The comedy club, which is located in the historic Jose Theater on South Second Street, is the oldest theater in downtown, according to the city. San Jose bought the building through its now-defunct Redevelopment Agency in 2000 and leased it out to the Improv two years later. The proposed lease renewal up for consideration this week would allow the Improv, which recently canned a longtime manager, to commence with upward of $500,000 in upgrades, which the company would only do with a multi-year agreement.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the News Editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

83 Comments

  1. Gee! Those tiny homes look really cool if they’re put on large grassy lots in the middle of parks in springtime with no hobos, or panhandlers, or shopping carts around.

    I think they would fit right in if they were put in Saratoga.

  2. THESE TINY HOMES IS A CUTE IDEA.BUT WONT WORK.MOST OF THESE PEOPLE NEED STRUCTURE AND GUIDANCE IN THERE LIVES. TIED IN WITH HOUSING.SAN JOSE ID DOING A GREAT JOB USING ITS RE-ENTRY SYSTEMS THREW DIFFERENT PROVIDERS.WE ARE DOING OUR JOBS.

  3. Leave it to San Joser to come up with a tiny house that costs between 70 and 90K. Oakland buys similar-sized tuff-sheds for 3K each. Yes, the tuff-sheds are not wired for electricity nor are they insulated, but those features can be added cheaply.

    I must agree with Rocha and Khamis — spend the money on rent for existing housing, we’ll get far more bang for the buck.

  4. Our elected leaders appear desperate to make San Jose as attractive to demented and diseased parasites as its detestable neighbor up the peninsula, that petri dish of pathogens that was once the beautiful city of San Francisco. Just goes to show how much more politicians value their career aspirations than they do the health and welfare of decent and productive citizens. With every tiny house erected there will be a corresponding number of losers — some of them dangerous, who will do as humans have always done: migrate toward the greener pasture. What that number will be can neither be accurately determined nor honestly denied, but since history is rife with examples of lush environments overrun, best buckle up.

    • Finfan – If the fine people of San Jose can tolerate a despicable & intolerant imbecile like you,I’m sure that most believe getting downtrodden “humans” off the streets is the compassionate thing to do ! Keep in mind that these “politicians” are “elected leaders” supported by the majority of your neighbors to address issues effecting the city on their behalf. In other words while the politicians are the obvious target of your ire,it’s in fact their supporters who you’re most angry with for electing them. The bottom line is that you’re right-wing views have been repudiated time & time again at the ballot box & your insipid tirades neither sway nor influence anyone. At this point we all know that you’re ‘mad’ as hell & aren’t going to take ‘it’ anymore,but you can’t actually do anything about it other than energetically snivel & bitch.
      And speaking of bitch why don’t you just assume the customary position of doggie submission,because you’ll undoubtedly be on the receiving end of ‘it’ as long as you choose to reside here. You may sit up & beg,shake hands,play felch or walk on your hind legs,although I’m sure most of us would prefer that you roll over & play dead. To paraphrase Norm on Cheers “It’s a dog eat dog world & you’re wearing Milkbone underwear” ! So please exhibit some dignity for the first time in your woeful life,do us all a favor & quit humping our legs you bad bad dog. If swatting you on the bridge of your nose with a rolled up newspaper doesn’t appreciably alter your crude behavior you won’t be a house dog anymore. Then ironically you’ll have something in common with the homeless people you detest,you’ll be living outdoors exposed to the elements & wishing you had a little house to live in too !

      • Waxy, your constant and predictable crowing about your side’s domination of local elections demonstrates that the founders’ concerns about “tyranny of the majority” were, well, well founded.
        Enjoy your power while it lasts. You’re in the good company of the racists and bigots whom you supposedly deplore as you celebrate your state supported power to discriminate.

        • John,It’s not my fault that the majority of our neighbors choose to agree with me & disagree with you ! If you conservatives are unable to articulate your viewpoint & agenda well enough to sway the local electorate,it certainly not due to anything I’ve done to you. It just appears that most people here think that your rationale on the important issues facing us today lacks any discernible merit. No one is discriminating against you. Laughing at you,mocking you,belittling you,kicking you when you’re down,you betcha ! But actually discriminating against you ? Choosing not to associate with you isn’t discrimination,it’s just good old commonsense. I don’t associate with racists,bigots,bible thumpers or right-wing Republican scum. We have nothing in common & listening to them spew pious propaganda from their putrid pie holes has a tendency to get me all riled up. Although I do take great joy in talking loudly & boisterously about politics & religion. That is until the bartender tells me to knock it off before I start a fight. If you think I can be annoying here,you’ll just love me after I’ve downed several pints & a few shots. Ironically those who are offended by my unbridled patriotism are just as outnumbered at our local watering holes,as they are at the ballot box here on election day. John,you’re all hat & no cattle,a six inch belt buckle & a three inch prick. Face it around these parts cowboy,I’m a big hero & you’re a big zero ! Yeehaw !!!

          • Thanks for the introduction,John. My eloquence has finally left you speechless,just the way I like you ! It’s the little people like you who make what I do so worthwhile. I’ll be here all week & be sure to tip your waitresses. I tried to stand one on her head & she tipped right over. Nyuk,Kyuk,Kyuk !!!

          • Waxy. You say everyone is agreeing with you….prove it. Do a poll anything. But you are wrong, you are a bigot, you have tunnel vision, and i wonder how much corruption you are involed in.

            Happy 2018

      • “… these “politicians” are “elected leaders” supported by the majority of your neighbors to address issues effecting the city on their behalf.” — Herb Waxman, posting from Emergency Psychiatric Services, Valley Medical Center

        Waxy, I can’t seem to locate that majority clamoring for tiny homes in their neighborhoods? Please tell the rest of us the type of psychotropic you use to see what isn’t there.

        • Flimflam the fine people of San Jose elected these people to run their city,it’s called a democracy. I didn’t say that the majority of voters support this idea or anything else that our cities leaders do. Regardless it’s their job to make decisions on behalf of their constituents,if enough voters are unhappy with how they run the city they can vote for someone else next time. Or they can start a recall campaign & start collecting enough signatures to have a special election. In the meantime like it or not they’re in charge & can approve little houses if they think the idea has merit. Take a civics class for god’s sake before shooting your mouth off again & try reading my comments slower so that you can grasp there meaning more concisely. You can’t possibly be as stupid as you appear to be,you make the toothless meth heads running carnival rides look like Einstein by comparison. I’m not familiar with the psychiatric services available at Valley Medical Center,although you appear to be quite familiar with them. You have the terms psychiatric & psychic mixed up,because I happen to be psychic. I can see that you have no future here,your days are numbered & your as doomed as doomed can be !!!

          • “… the majority of our neighbors choose to agree with me & disagree with you ! If you conservatives are unable to articulate your viewpoint & agenda well enough to sway the local electorate…” — Herb Waxman, with his meds on the wane.

            “I didn’t say that the majority of voters support this idea or anything else that our cities leaders do.” — Herb Waxman, after his meds kick in.

            As for Herb being psychic, how can a guy who can’t track what he’s saying from moment to moment be expected to predict anything in the future — even if he’s wearing his trusty antenna helmet?

          • Flimflam – you have the IQ of a gnat & the comprehension of a slug. O n c e a g a I n r e a l s l o w I d I d n ‘ t s a y t h a t
            t h e m a j o r I t y o f o u r n e I g h b o r s s u p p o r t t I n y
            h o u s e s , i n f a c t I d I d n ‘ t s a y t h a t I f a v o r
            t h e m e I t h e r ! ! ! I said that the majority of our neighbors support those they’ve elected to represent them,even though the minority you represent does not. We share a political agenda that is diametrically opposed to the one you so ineloquently espouse. Your confusion is understandable as you’re undoubtedly as drunk when you read our comments as you are when you write your own. I’d be Frustrated too if I was on the losing side of every damn issue,election & argument,but I’d be smart enough not to make such a pathetic spectacle of myself by repeatedly whining about it. Man up you crybaby,you’re a Loser with a capital L & by now everybody knows it !!!

          • “I didn’t say that the majority of voters support this idea…” — Waxman 12/14

            “If the fine people of San Jose can tolerate a despicable & intolerant imbecile like you,I’m sure that most believe getting downtrodden “humans” off the streets is the compassionate thing to do!” — Waxman 12/11

            It appears Herb Waxman, caught-up in an unsolvable disagreement with himself, is using SJI as an escrow account for his insanity. He uploads an opinion, defends it with vigor and vulgarity, declares his adversaries bested, then, perhaps after a brief period of self-abuse and electroshock therapy, uploads a contradictory opinion and starts the process all over again.

            One can only hope that this obsessive internal conflict keeps him too busy to procreate.

            I would never suggest blocking a participant, but in Waxman’s case I believe SJI should charge him a fee for services rendered.

          • Flimflam – Getting homeless people off the streets & housing them in tiny homes is two different subjects. Once again there’s reality & then there’s the world of specious spin in which you’ve taken residence. Your ignorance once again is only exceeded by your stupidity. The majority of San Jose voters want something done about the homeless problem. The majority of San Jose voters elected & support our local leaders. No one knows what percentage of San Jose voters support housing the homeless in expensive tiny homes & we’ll never know unless there is a referendum on the issue. Apparently you’re the only one unable to grasp this concept,but you seem intent on grasping at straws in an attempt to make it look like I’ve contradicted myself. It’s funny that you’re so woefully incapable of doing so !

            So now we’ll have to add addlebrained bungler to the growing list of uncomplimentary adjectives used to describe your predictably unscrupulous commentary. It’s people like you who are representative of the conservative agenda here in San Jose,that have driven voters from the Republican Party by the thousands over the last several decades. You can lie & whine & hold your breath until you turn blue,but you & your thoroughly rejected alt-right agenda neither sway nor influence San Jose voters one iota. If you insist on angrily venting your spleen here on a daily basis,please do it down wind as the stench surrounding you could choke a maggot. Please seek the professional help you seem to be so familiar with !!!

          • Let’s see… the headline reads, “San Jose Gives Tiny Homes Proposal Another Chance,” but Herb Waxman, no matter what he says about getting the homeless off the street and the residents’ support of the council, is NEVER talking about the tiny homes proposal. He’s instead, talking around and around and around it and everything else, almost as if his head is spinning.

            He’s such an annoying windbag I’m surprised the local idiots haven’t elected him to office.

      • Sure if I was spending money that wasn’t mine then I too would also feel like an altruistic hero battling against the tyranny of hard working Americans who had to work for their digs.

  5. Well then – whatever they look like or manner in which they are constructed – the question remains – where to locate the Liccardo Lofts?

  6. The homeless live among us. And the truth is that any of us could fall into this very unfortunate situation.
    We can live them let them “live” in squalor on the banks of the river or we can demonstrate compassion by providing transition housing with the requirement that the transitionally housed provide community service and participate in job training. Let us lend a hand and not use our hands to push the homeless away!

    Our greatness as a community is determined how we treat the least among us.

    • > We can live them let them “live” in squalor on the banks of the river or we can demonstrate compassion by providing transition housing with the requirement that the transitionally housed provide community service and participate in job training.

      “We”, as I understand the English language, means “You” and “I”.

      Well, I am not letting “them” live in squalor. I don’t even know any of “them”. Wouldn’t recognize “them” if I saw them.

      I can only conclude that YOU are letting “them” live in squalor.

      In my opinion, YOU should stop letting “them” live in squalor.

      • Dear BUBBLE, Where does it say that these tiny homes are “transition housing” as you stated? If built, is there a time line on the occupants? We the electorate did not vote for these tiny homes just as we didn’t vote to become a “sanctuary city”. Our politicians, under the control of their own free will did that to us. So don’t go saying that they are representing the ideas of the majority.

        • > Where does it say that these tiny homes are “transition housing” as you stated?

          SJCHARLIE:

          Peace.

          I didn’t call the tiny homes “transition housing”.

          I was quoting SJW Bill Conrad labeling them as “transistion housing”.

          Your comments are hereby redirected to Conrad.

      • > How about Tiny Bus or Tiny Plane tickets back to wherever they came from?

        Makes perfect sense.

        That’s what I call “thinking outside the box.”

    • Perhaps it’s the result of my fairy tale-free upbringing, but when Mr. Conrad writes about “them” he demonstrates a faith in happy endings far beyond anything I can imagine, or, for that matter, beyond anything possible within the confines of reality.

      Who are the “them” of whom he speaks? How many of “them” are here today? How many will be here next year? In ten years? In twenty years?

      Years ago there was a nice old man who fed the pigeons who roosted above the corner of Stevens Creek and Saratoga. Very soon after the feeding started there were fifty pigeons for every one of the original roosting birds. It was not the product of procreation, but of something else just as natural and every bit as inevitable. So too was the environmental ruination.

      Mother Nature punishes stupidity. California liberals celebrate it.

      • Flimflam – Q: What do liberals & pigeons have in common here in California ? A: They both greatly outnumber you & would love to poop on your head ! That is if you ever got the courage to identify yourself & ventured outdoors. Wear one of those red ‘Make America Great Again’ caps,they make a great target & are easily discernible from aloft,a loft or the roof of a building. Pigeons may be color blind,but most liberals would have no problem picking you out of a small crowd. “It’s a good thing I was looking up with my mouth open,otherwise those devils might have defecated right on my face” said Flimflam. You know it isn’t polite to speak with your mouth full,so try shutting your festering gob for a change ! Heads up,Scatman ! Heads up !!!

    • Bill,I’m sure that the vast majority of San Jose residents would join with you in showing compassion toward these unfortunate homeless people. Homelessness isn’t a problem unique to San Jose,it’s a problem in communities big & small nationwide. Ignoring it or worse complaining about it does absolutely nothing to alleviate it & wishful thinking certainly won’t miraculously make it disappear. With the cost of housing so high that many of the working poor are no longer able to afford to pay their rent & provide for themselves & their families,something must be done now. Otherwise low paying jobs will go unfilled & life as we know it will slowly grind to a halt. How those who work at McDonald’s for example can afford to live here is a mystery to me. Do ten of them live in a one bedroom apartment & which one of them met the criteria (income,credit check,deposit,etc.) to qualify in the first place ? Do they have a spouse who has a much better paying job or do they live at home with their parents ? Do they commute to work from Morgan Hill & if so how can they afford to do so by car or public transportation ? Why is it that those who complain about the homeless most vociferously are the same people who complain about raising the minimum wage & would be the first to complain about the price of a cheeseburger rising fifty cents ?
      Why ? Because they’re hypocritical,clueless,brainwashed dipshits who have no grasp of reality & refuse to address the many problems facing our society intelligently ! They’re the first to angrily complain about a problem & the last to offer any viable solution,because they’re too stupid to offer one. It should come as no surprise that it’s the most vociferous right-wing voices on this forum (Booble,Flimflam,EmptyGums) who have the most to say & yet the least to offer when forced to actually address the issues at hand ! That’s because any moron can piss & moan & complain about everything,but offering real solutions to real problems is well beyond their conceivable comprehension & meager mental capabilities. If you’re not part of the solution,you’re not only part of the problem you are the problem ! Go %&@# yourselves !!!

      • > Bill,I’m sure that the vast majority of San Jose residents would join with you in showing compassion toward these unfortunate homeless people.

        Waxy:

        Suppose the homeless person were a white male Trump supporting scab.

        Would you and Bill STILL join the vast majority of San Jose residents in showing compassion?

        • What makes you think that most Trump supporters here in the South Bay aren’t white male scabs ? See if you can follow this simple logic – 1) Homeless people exist. 2) If you exist you need to live somewhere. 3) You can’t round them up & shoot them. 4) The problem is where to put them. 5) Something needs to be done because they’re not going away. Having them living on our streets lowers the standard of living for our entire community. They’re an eyesore in our beautiful city,sleeping in doorways & blocking sidewalks,living in parks & on public & private property. They’re bad for business & many are unkempt due to a lack of access to restrooms & showers. Urinating & defecating outdoors is disgusting & certainly poses a risk to public health. Tiny houses may not be the best idea (especially at this cost),but at least people are talking about the problem. If I knew how to fix the problem I would have already shared my terrific idea with San Jose’s leaders,but I’m as perplexed as everybody else. Let’s hope that some intelligent people can develop a viable solution to this perennial problem,because the present situation becomes more untenable everyday. Of course then again “There’s a saying very old & very witty,That a camel is a horse designed by a committee”. Did you know that NIMBY is actually GUMBY”S younger brother’s name ?

          • Herb Waxman or any law abiding citizen:
            The homeless is a problem, a big problem. Somethings to consider, 1 being common sense. 2. We attract the homeless to California because of weather, our way of protecting them, looking the other way while they move from place to place, after getting run out by whatever or who ever, leaving behind this huge mountain of garbage, their 5 gallon white buckets they dificate in leaving those behind, only to move to another place to do the same thing all over again. Those 5 gallon buckets, and they fill one up, then get another and another, then leaving all behind, full, when they move on. We allow this to happen, we accept the fact that there is always going to be homeless people. We actually encourage this to continue. How do we encourage our homeless to spread disease such as hepititis A, our home invasions, letting them steal, and we just look the other way. We are enabling these citizens. Why or how, you ask ? We raised the act of committing a felony from $ 50.00 to $ 99.00. This action caused our homeless to steal more without being held accountable. The judges use to senrence some to rehab in lew of jail time but even that isnt happening because they are choosing to do jail time. We became a sanctuary state. So now, our law enforcement picks up a shoplifter, a person breaking intoa car, house, mail boxes, etc. If they are charged with a felony, in many cases lthey are allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. If they get caught again, they have not been convicted of a felony, and it starts all over again. We are a sanctuary state, remember. So who is held accountable. Most are in possession of a stolen shopping cart, what about some of the bicycles they ride, i would bet they can’t afford a $ 300.00 bike….most smoke, and at $ 10.00 per pack ?.?? , most have at least one animal, usually a big dog, they liter, which is against the law, they go to the bathroom in those 5 gallon buckets, which is indecent exposure at sometime during a 24 hour period, they Trespass, most either abuse drugs or alcohol, which makes their problems worse. If they are doing drugs, they can’t work cause no one can or will hire them. MORE important, we do not have a program for the homeless to get help, counseling, support, so they can become productive citizens. They will continue to be a burden on society until we get them help, get their addictions taken care of, and train them to become productive citizens. We should at least make them clean up after themselves to save the taxpayers money. They just leave everything and move their belongings, to another place. How many times has the authorities moved the homeless out of the area of almaden Expressway and 85 (southeast of the on ramp to 85 east) ? How many times have we cleaned up after them at that location only to have them return and start all over again. So lets put them in public housing let them continue to use drugs, alcohol, assult and abuse others, steal, and leave their garbage, needles, and fecus behind for someone else to clean up. If you. Or anyone else who feel we arent doing enough to help the homeless, go to the building across the street from The cathedral of faith on curtner. Spend a few hours there after dark go into the building and look down the elevator shaft. Count all the hyperdermic needles. There is no rules in the low income housing. They continue to do what they always do. They have to want to get help, they have to hit bottom, as long as we continue to enable them, they have no desire to turn their lives around.. there are plenty of shelters with vacant beds, there is a lot of help for food, lodging, etc. they dont want to remain clean and sober, that is why there are so many empty beds here in San Jose at many of the non profits. New York City and Philly has tried the programs that San Jose is attempting to puht in place……..guess what….they couldnt make it work….mark my words…this is going to fail……one last thing…..before you comment, go out and have a conversation with the homeless and ask them do you really want to get off the street, would you go to a shelter, get clean and sober and become productive, can I offer you a full time job at $ 20,00 per hour 40 hours a week, go buy them a hamburger, they would tather pan handle because a hamburger wont get them high !!! We need to get serious and quit enabling the homeless.

          • Ron & the point of your lengthy diatribe is ? Yes the homeless are a problem & they’re not going away,in fact their numbers may be growing. However rehashing the numerous problems associated with them is a waste of the SJI readers time. You can’t shoot them all,incarcerate them all or drive them out of town by banging two pie pans together. We’re all familiar with the many problems they cause & the petty crimes many commit,so what ? I don’t see you offering any viable solutions to alleviate the problem & complaining about it certainly won’t make it magically go away. If venting your spleen makes you feel better about yourself,well bravo ! Be sure to let us know if you come up with something constructive to add,like building a wall or energizing a force field around the city. Rest assured whatever you come up with will cost the taxpayers more than most are willing to spend. Maybe you can get the city to outlaw five-gallon pails & you can spearhead the effort to confiscate them !!!

    • Bill, Please help educate me as to ‘what works’, how much, and for whom – different homeless have different needs. About 18 months after the pilot program commenced to house St. James park chronic cases, less than 50% were occupied. Apartments were trashed, appliances and fixtures were stolen and sold to recycling centers, units became centers for drug & prostitution so reported Ray Bramson (SJ Director of Homeless Services). The SJ Housing Dept reports only about 15% of Downtown Streets participants graduate out of their transitional housing and job training program.

      Work Farms seemed to have a much better success rate that our current approach. Triage is another alternative. Redirect funding to those likely to succeed and benign neglect / palliative care for incorrigibles.

      • Interesting insights. Thank you.

        Let’s benchmark the successful strategies that work for different homeless profiles and begin to pilot those solutions in San Jose. Good thinking.

        • > Let’s benchmark the successful strategies that work for different homeless profiles and begin to pilot those solutions in San Jose. Good thinking.

          Fifteen thousand years ago, all humans were homeless.

          Then someone invented capitalism, and people learned how to plan for THEIR OWN future and make warm homes so they wouldn’t freeze in the winter.

          Maybe we could try piloting capitalism in San Jose. I know we would be late to the game but it’s always possible that politicians might learn something.

          Today’s freezing homeless person is tomorrow’s toasty warm capitalist.

        • My guess reading these so called comments is you don’t have a clue what you are talking about or what to do.
          San Jose is NOT pretty. WE all wrecked it. Mental illness is complicated and so is drug abuse. Judge Manley is over his head! I suggest solution based comments. That is, don’t put an addict in an apartment building next to dealer’s, for God sake the Police need to walk a person into EPS at Valley Med so a skilled person can determine if they meet criteria, not the officer. What then it will be too late.

  7. Dear Mr. Waxman,

    I appreciate your insights. The taxpayers actually have to subsidize companies like McDonald’s who are unwilling to pay a living wage in a community that has an astronomical cost of living. The real welfare queens are companies like McDonald’s who depend upon the community to pick up the slack for their unwillingness to pay a living wage.

    The solution to the homeless problem must be systemic that includes transitional housing and putting people on the path to permanent housing. The system will also need to address job training, health support, and of course housing that may need to be subsidized.

    With regard to the “them” referred to by Mr. Finfaam, some of the “them” are homeless Veterans. I have been working as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in helping to build permanent housing for veterans at a site on Vermont Street. The work is very rewarding and will benefit at least 16 homeless veterans.

    Unfortunately, there are no additional Habitat for Humanity projects in the work due to the entrenched Not in My Backyard mentality of many San Jose community Members. However, as the article states, they are poised to help build the transitional housing and I look forward to volunteering my time to work on these worthy projects!

    • “… some of the “them” are homeless Veterans.”

      Mr. Conrad,

      Have you ever stopped to think that a great many of the residents repulsed by homeless losers and lunatics are themselves veterans? The vast majority of veterans are self-sufficient and productive, but homeless advocates like yourself, who play the veterans card at every chance, don’t seem to care one whit about the majority.

      As for your disdain for what you call the “Not in My Backyard” residents, keep in mind that they have invested heavily in the backyards they wish to protect, while the “Yes in Your Backyard” types, like you, have invested nothing beyond their insufferable arrogance.

    • Yes & the taxpayers have been subsidizing Walmart for decades ! Their employees are the largest group of recipients of the taxpayers largess in America by far. How they managed to shift their responsibility to provide for their employees to the government is outrageous. They pay the majority of their employees a pittance,so little that they qualify for food stamps,medical care & subsidized housing at the governments expense. It’s no wonder they have the lowest prices,the taxpayers are picking up the tab. In turn they put their better paying competitors out of business & lower thr standard of living for entire communities. That’s the reason the Walton’s are billionaires,they stole every cent of it from the taxpayers while the government refused to make them pay their fair share. Let’s nationalize Walmart (after all we paid for it) & confiscate every dollar of their ill-gotten gains. Look for the union label & boycott Walmart this holiday season !!!

      • > They pay the majority of their employees a pittance,so little that they qualify for food stamps,medical care & subsidized housing at the governments expense.

        So what you’re saying, Waxy, is that you want the gubbermint to stop paying for foods stamps, medical care and subsidized housing to Walmart employees.

        Right on! At last we’ve found common ground!

        And let’s not stop there. let’s stop paying for food stamps, medical care and subsidized housing for ALL employees. That would force employers to pay wages that employees could decide for themselves if they are sufficient for their needs.

        We’re making progress, Waxy. We could even call ourselves “progressives”.

        • So what you’re saying is that the government should only provide food stamps,medical care & subsidized housing to the unemployed,the unemployable & those who’ve chosen not to work for a living. Even I’m not willing to go that far ! I believe that the government should only help those who are truly in need,employed or not. My complaint is with those who’ve enriched themselves by shifting the burden of providing for all of the needs of their workers to the taxpayers. There would most likely be a law against it now if it wasn’t for the rich & big business interests bankrolling the campaigns of obedient GOP politicians. If you can figure out some way to make the retail & fast food giants rethink their business plan & pick up the tab for the true cost of their employees,I’d love to hear about it. Like Ross Perot said “I’m all ears” ! Let’s try to be pragmatic instead of problematic for a change & do what’s fair,just & equitable for everyone involved !!!

          • > Let’s try to be pragmatic instead of problematic for a change & do what’s fair,just & equitable for everyone involved !!!

            Waxy:

            The problem in your analysis begins with “Let’s”, i.e. “Let us”.

            If “us” includes “you” and “me”. you are hijacking my free will, and everything else my free will decides for me.

            You have to give up the notion that YOU can decide for other people what THEY will accept as “fair, just and equitable”.

            Maybe you’re too special and too wonderful to work at Walmart, but Mr. Walmart offers wages and benefits that MANY, MANY people find perfectly acceptable and suitable to their needs.

            If your moral lights tells you that Walmart should be paying more to be “fair, just and equitable”, then start your own damn Walmart, make YOUR employees happier than Walmart’s employees, and run Walmart out of business.

            And, by the way, someday you need to tell me what moral lights an atheist actually has. Since you likely have no expectation of facing judgement day or going to heaven, why does an atheist even give a damn about “fairness” for Walmart employees or anyone else’s employees?

          • Booble – Just because many are gullible enough to believe in non-existent religious deities,doesn’t necessarily mean that they have higher moral standards than those who scoff at such nonsense. In fact millions of Fundamentalist Christians are the most intolerant,judgmental bigots in America today. These immoral idiots base their vile & repugnant behavior on a selectively edited book written hundreds of years ago,describing events which are based on hearsay & that supposedly happened thousands of years ago. You don’t need to be delusional to love thy neighbor & adhere to the Golden Rule. Followers of such foolish faith fomented foppery of course claimed the moral high ground for themselves & it’s high time that atheists,agnostics & apathists set the record straight. Insofar as Walmart goes if you want your tax dollars to subsidize their employees wages,you’re a bigger dimwit than I thought you were & I never thought you were very bright to begin with !!!

  8. I see a lot of people who want too shelter the homeless.. thats great… now open up ur back yards and houses for them please rather than lecturing others who don’t want them next to schools, parks and libraries

  9. Hello Frustrated Finfan,

    Actually I am not playing any card! I am actually taking action to help make a difference in the lives of people who are in need. Not such a bad thing. No?

    I recommend that you read the book Joy by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. There can be no greater joy in life than helping others. You should try it. It might raise your own spirits and give you a new perspective. Get in the pool. The water is fine!

    Let’s give up the latest national zeitgeist of mean-spiritedness, ad hominem attacks, selfishness, and prejudicial thinking. Enough is Enough. Let’s support one another – rich or poor.

    What do you think?

    • Bill, Actually what seems selfless compassion *can* be ‘a bad thing’ and suggest you expand your reading list. The Dalai Lama said in 2001 that “it be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun” if threatened. Psychologists have identified “learned helplessness” as a adverse consequence of many programs.

      Why single structures for homeless when SJ is promoting more cost efficient multi-tenant urban village housing everywhere else? Why 2-3X the $/sqft cost of luxury homes? Why not employ used mobile homes at ~$10K (& $45 monthly space renal) instead of new tiny ones at $90K with a $17K annual operating cost. Why in the most expensive real estate market instead of lower cost area?

      Why will this work, to what extent, and how will we know? Yes, some have implemented elsewhere, but without any tangible impact. We actually have more homeless at St. James park and along 5th St after Donner Lofts was finished. Many more adverse impacts to neighbors since it was occupied. Easy to dismiss as selfish NIMBY objections instead of addressing prudent questions.

    • Mr. Conrad,

      Here is what I think about the cost to others of you doing what makes you feel good.

      Take any one of the many safe and civil neighborhoods in San Jose and examine it for what it is. First, it’s a large plot of ordinary land surrounded by a great many others. Nothing special about that. But at some point houses were erected upon it by investors and sold to individual home buyers. Again, nothing in that to distinguish it from any other residential community. But then something special happened: the residents did what they could to make their homes appealing, paid taxes for parks and pavement and services, got involved with the local schools to push them for improvement, did their best to civilize their children, and, without realizing it, communicated to outsiders that theirs was a neighborhood to be desired. This attracted a certain class of home buyers as well as a desirable brand of shopkeepers and service providers.

      As a result of their efforts the value of their homes is considerably higher than it would otherwise be, with this higher value acting as both a measure of the quality of the residents and a barrier against outsiders with undesirable behavioral standards. And then along comes Bill Conrad with his head full of feel-good crappola and a burning desire to use the power of government to undermine that quality and crash that barrier by contaminating the neighborhood with failed humans whose behavior is so low on the social bar that it often crosses the line into unlawful and even dangerous conduct.

      Given that it is indisputable that good neighbors make good neighborhoods and good neighborhoods create value, what you and your kind hope to do with your cancerous tiny homes is expropriate some of that neighborhood value from the people who created it and GIVE it to people YOU CHOOSE. The moment you succeed you will have deprived the neighbors of part of their investment (in dollars and effort) and jeopardized an even bigger part of it by sabotaging the dynamic that created the added value in the first place. And perhaps the biggest offense is that the money funding the unwanted intrusion is derived from the taxes paid by those targeted for harming by your misguided brand of altruism.

      Because of fraudulent fairness fairies like yourself there are two distinct classes of San Jose residents: the responsible and productive who the government says can reside only where they can afford to, and the irresponsible and nonproductive who the government says can live wherever they choose.

      • Good Argumentation Frustrated Finfan! Although a little bit heavy on the ad hominem attack side albeit with good alliteration (Fraudulent Fairness Fairies like yourself).
        To some extent, you are dichotomizing the solution. It is either this or it is that. We can have both good neighborhoods as well as provide a hands-up to those in need. Why not? People who own homes benefitted from some breaks as well in purchasing their homes. Maybe they got a VA loan. Maybe they could derive benefit from mortgage tax deductions. Maybe they benefitted from a bank that only demanded a 10% downpayment. Maybe they got help from their parents or relatives to buy their homes. Bottom line is that people benefit from other people who are willing to help.

        However, this was definitely harder for the Native Americans whose land was stolen and for Blacks who were redlined from even the opportunity to purchase a home in San Jose. There is a little bit of White entitlement going on here as well.

        The “I Got Mine” mentality can be tempered a bit by a spirit of altruism and compassion. Everybody got somewhere because somebody was willing to lend a hand. It is not a dichotomy. We can figure out a way to be compassionate and helpful at the same time that we are protecting our own self-interests.

        • > However, this was definitely harder for the Native Americans whose land was stolen and for Blacks who were redlined from even the opportunity to purchase a home in San Jose.

          Bill:

          I reject your guilt trip.

          “Native Americans” stole THEIR land from other “native americans”, and they did it over, and over, and over again.

          “Land stealing” is business as usual for paleolithic tribalist foragers. If your tribe wants to eat well, it finds the best hunting and gathering territory and runs off whoever is there.

          And we certainly don’t need any morality lectures from white trust fund children about how bad slavery was for blacks. Black african’s were BIG, BIG practitioners of slavery:

          > In the 1840s, King Gezo of Dahomey said:

          “The slave trade is the ruling principle of my people. It is the source and the glory of their wealth…the mother lulls the child to sleep with notes of triumph over an enemy reduced to slavery…”

          Plenty more for your education and edification:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery#Africa

        • Mr. Conrad,

          I find it interesting that you, a champion of homeless vets, would brand a VA loan a break. The right to a VA loan is earned, and your implication is an insult.

          As for the rest of your “you didn’t built it” speculations, you are pretty much insinuating that home ownership in nice neighborhoods is the end result of a gifting process, as opposed to what it is in the vast majority of cases, which is the culmination of effort, sacrifice, and personal discipline.

          That you would imply San Jose’s best neighborhoods were populated by way of white entitlement is pathetic, about as empty and unsupportable a contention as I’ve ever encountered here. First of all, no one besides you has equated nice neighborhoods with the white race, and you can be certain that the opposition to tiny homes comes in all colors. Second, not even Khamis’s district in Almaden is majority white, making it plain to see that you’re as reckless in hurling your political crap as is that demented gangster who lost the last presidential race.

          Lastly, if “everybody” has been offered a helping hand in life, as you say, then only sweet little girls and fools should expect that homeless vermin will benefit by another.

      • Fraudulent Flimflam the Cleveland Steamer recipient has a lot of gall calling anyone a fairy. As anybody familiar with his ignorant,insipid,ill-conceived,illogical & insulting insights can tell you he’s the foremost fascist fairy by far. An hysterical,hypocritical,harebrained,hidebound,holier-than-thou halfwit whose hateful harangues are historically more harmful than helpful. Prudent people put this predictably pugnacious,pantywaist poser in his place with periodic polysyllabic passion & panache. Deemed a disagreeable & divinely delusional deity devotee by dozens,his disturbing,despicable & disingenuous diatribes are discarded daily by the denizens of his determined detractors. A fake,phony,false & ficticious fraud whose fiery albeit fallacious faith fomented foppery is fought daily by his formidable,fearless & fanatical foes. Just another woeful witless whining windbag who withers whenever he’s whipped & lacks the wherewithal to wonder why. Bill – “There’s a new sensation that’s sweeping across our nation & it’s called wall to wall alliteration” ! (from “The Wonderful & Witty World of Waxman” coming soon)

        • Truly a whirlwind of witty witticisms!

          What’s up with the Bubble’s homage to slavery? Are his true colors coming forth? Or should I say lack of tolerance for color? Could that be a little problem lurking in San Jose?

          Also the idea that capitalism is some kind of neutral force providing equal opportunity to everyone who is willing to work is fallacious. Capitalism incorporates rules that tilt the balance of fairness toward one group or another. For example, why should individual workers who actually generate wealth have to pay a higher tax rate than hedge fund managers who pay much less tax on capital gains? Capitalism’s rules currently favor those who already have much wealth. And that wealth is not necessarily gained through hard work. It is a myth?

          • > What’s up with the Bubble’s homage to slavery? Are his true colors coming forth? Or should I say lack of tolerance for color? Could that be a little problem lurking in San Jose?

            Actually, Bill, I was merely acknowledging and responding to DOWNER’s “homage to slavery”.

            > CALMHERDOWN

            > I think it should. Roy Moore’s ancestors owned slaves. Your ancestors probably did too.

            So, in the service of journalistic integrity, let me properly recast your questions as they should be in framed in an environment of truth and objective reality:

            > What’s up with CALMHERDOWN’s homage to slavery? Are his true colors coming forth? Or should I say lack of tolerance for color? Could that be a little problem lurking in San Jose?

  10. > Ladies and gentlemen-
    Herb Waxman.

    His mother must be mortified.

    I’m sure she didn’t mean to drop him on his head.

    Poor woman.

    • Booble – My late mother was a lovely intelligent woman & a lifelong Democrat,who would have dismissed you for being nothing more than the pompous right-wing blowhard we’ve all come to know ! I’m sure she’d be mortified that you’ve found a soapbox here to spread your reprehensible hate-fiiled,alt-right,unAmerican propaganda. It’s just a shame that she didn’t live long enough to enjoy watching me eviscerate you intellectually here on a daily basis,she would have been quite proud. Someday your mother may be proud of you too,if you get a job & move out of her basement she might even tell you she loves you for the first time in years ! Who knows a couple of blows to your head might knock some sense into you ? Ask your mother (if she’s speaking to you) where she hid your father’s toolbox this time. Remember safety first,hold the hammer by the handle (that’s the wooden part that looks like a stick) & swing hard over & over again until you can form a lucid thought. If these directions are too complicated for you to understand,I’d wager that your mother would be more than happy to give you a demonstration. “You might not recognize your mother when you see her,I shaved her back.” – Sam Kinison If you have anymore smart-aleck comments that involve my mother,don’t be a coward bring ’em on. I’ve got a plethora of adjectives & I’ve been looking for an opportunity to put them to good use,but your mother will do (almost anything) for the time being !

      • > My late mother was a lovely intelligent woman & a lifelong Democrat . . .

        Waxy:

        You left out the part where you say your mother loved you very much. Was there some reason?

        Did she ever try to leave you at an orphanage or a bus station with a note pinned to your little shirt?

        Did she ever try to leave you anywhere without the note?

        • > Did she ever try to leave you anywhere without the note?

          Yes, yes and yes for me SJO. Please don’t insult me or any other orphans by saying being in those situations would make me end up like wax on wax off here.

        • Booble your mother loved me real long time & was a lot more fun face down. I was surprised you didn’t come running into her bedroom the way she was screaming,but I found you passed out in the hallway when I left. I put a few unused condoms & her dentures back on the dresser when I split,her next three suitors were already there waiting. By the way she’s not very photogenic,but I’m sure that the video will be a big hit with guys that are into nasty GILF’s ! Hey Robert Michael is your mother still up to her old tricks,or is she only doing outcalls now ? I’ve still got some space left on my SD card & it would be a terrible shame to waste it. By the way tell your wife Carly I said hi !

  11. > $90,550 per unit;

    NINETY THOUSAND BUCKS FOR A GARDEN SHED!

    Talk about skimming. I doubt if the Defense Department would have the balls to pay more than fifteen thousand bucks for these Potemkin village movie props.

    Call the bunco squad and have them raid the city council and arrest the scheming crooks who did this.

    Organized crime.

      • Bill, “Unfortunately, there are no additional Habitat for Humanity projects in the work due to the entrenched Not in My Backyard mentality of many San Jose community Members”. Thank you for your volunteerism.

        What about using your Habitat volunteer skills to construct tiny homes? I suspect you’ll discover, as I have, that CSJ does everything in it’s power to resist. Volunteers are sought for park cleanups, but prevented from doing much else. Dig deeper and you’ll discover a recalcitrant bureaucracy is the major obstacle.

        • I have worked for bureaucracies and know that their primary motives are political and not altruistic in support of the communities that they are supposed to work for. Habitat is building homes in Fremont so I think I will volunteer there.

    • SJOTB, And don’t forget the ~$10-17K / unit operating cost. I assume this is per year (“Add security, meals and transportation adds another $10,000 to $17,000 per tiny home”). Meanwhile homeless are eligible for free VTA vouchers, free paratransit for disabled, and free meals. Do note that our understaffed SJPD sends two cops to every Donner Lofts 911 call as reported at DL community meeting. We have a budget deficit that’s projected to almost triple (from $12M to $35M) in the next fiscal year. Source: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/67059

    • My first house in SJ was 86K that was 4 bedrooms and 2 baths and a large 2 car garage! Whats a trailer cost these days?

      • Empty,
        Trailer/mobile/manufactured home costs vary. Several of us recommended to SJ Housing they acquire new free (surplus) FEMA trailers that were available at the time. Alternatively, used Class A (best quality) were selling for about $10K and up for 2BR units. Garden City’s (Old Oakland Road) space & hookups rent for ~$45/month.

        Both suggestions were dismissed. Neither was deemed “permanent”. Never mind that the use was for temporary i.e., “transitional” housing. And that thousands of residents live in them and have for many years.

        SJ Housing contracts out the operation. But the landscape is littered with housing providers that have failed to deliver. There appear to be no consequences. Nobody gets fired. The City (at Housing’s recommendation) forgives loans and monies owed. No clawbacks that I’ve seen. Only “non-profits” are selected, yet compensation is considerably beyond the prevailing wage for their duties

  12. Man, what a downer to read the troll retorts today. I was hoping for something more intelligent than the “your mama” crap. And frankly, Waxman, while I’m far more sympathetic to your position than to the chary and ignorant views espoused by SJO and Finfan, I have to say you drew first blood this time. As you must surely know, when you engage with a troll, things only go from bad to worse.

    *Sigh*. I guess I can tell SJ Inside to get me off of their mailing list until they start policing their comments. Maybe if we get Waxman, Finfan and SJO ejected, the general tone will improve.

    • > *Sigh*. I guess I can tell SJ Inside to get me off of their mailing list until they start policing their comments. Maybe if we get Waxman, Finfan and SJO ejected, the general tone will improve.

      Dear Mrs. SANJOSE1971:

      Here is a sampling of blogs that DO police my comments:

      San Jose Mercury News
      MoveOn.org
      The Daily Kos
      The Left Hook

      And, to be sure, SJI has a “comments policy” such as it is. (“Police” and “policy” have the same root),

      Rest assured, Mr. SANJOSE1971, you HAVE BEEN PROTECTED from my most alarming and upsetting comments.

      And, as everyone knows, not knowing too much makes you a better and more interesting person.

    • I agree SanJose1971. The attacks by SJO, Finfan, and Waxman are extremely offensive. No more comments from me until a level of civil discourse is enforced. There is already a surfeit of verbal vitriol in the country. We don’t need to add to it or condone it. Enough is Enough!

      • > No more comments from me until a level of civil discourse is enforced.

        Bill:

        Are you saying that SJI’s comments policy and my being banned from numerous progressive blogs isn’t enough enforcement to reach the level of civil discourse that would please you?

        Would you please let Jennifer and Josh know what additional suppression and repression actions they need to impose in order to make SJI truly civil?

        Are you suggesting a black list? Or perhaps making SJI a members only forum?

    • On the other hand, where is the personal responsibility for becoming distressed?

      Each of them makes me think; each raises facts. I don’t need to react to the vitriol, but sometimes get embarrassed at laughing out loud at the biting witticisms. I’m glad that SJI accepts politically incorrect, impolite speech. Imagine it’s not easy to maintain 1A values when social justice warriors encourage advertiser boycotts to suppress anything they dislike.

    • “I was hoping for something more intelligent than the “your mama” crap …” — SANJOSE1971,

      Were you really? It seems to me that the majority, if not all, of your posts are primarily aimed at name-calling. Case in point, there are 65 comments to this posting — with a great many perspectives shared, yet your contribution consists of more name-calling, a threat to take your ball home, and a suggestion that several commenters be censored.

      Boy, you must’ve been a real hit with the neighborhood boys at ball field. Why don’t you use for your screen name one of the names they called you?

  13. The progressive Washington Post’s ignorant and distorted explanation of “net neutrality”.

    “Net neutrality

    it’s like . . .

    highways without toll booths. You can choose to make every road open to everyone equally. Or you can introduce toll booths for more direct routes. Unfortunately, you can’t create those fast direct routes without creating slow routes too. And some worry that slower roads will soon have speed bumps built in to make the premium ones more attractive.”
    ————————————————

    It’s no wonder that the information starved masses of the progressive left support “net neutrality” when this is what their shamans are telling them. Or really, this is what the shamans say the spirit world says about “net neutrality”.

    Try this:

    The “highway without tollbooths” is really just a single lane dirt path.

    Everybody gets to go at the same speed at the same price. ISN”T THAT FAIR!

    So, how is Jerry Brown going to be able to haul all of the concrete and steel to build his Stupid California High Speed Real (SCHSR) if he has to haul everything on a single lane dirt path? For sure he won’t be slowed down by toll booths, but if he gets stuck behind a millennial hogging the bike line, the Stupid High Speed Rail might not be able to meet its 2040 ribbon cutting.

    • Good example bubble, does anyone expect that a ticket on high speed rail is going to be the same as the Coast Starlight. Or even a 737 flight from LA.? Then there is that Elon tunnel thingy.

  14. > So now we’ll have to add addlebrained bungler to the growing list of uncomplimentary adjectives used to describe your predictably unscrupulous commentary.

    Waxy:

    You like adjectives a lot, don’t you.

    I’ll bet you got an “A” in adjectives in public elementary school.

    Did it ever occur to you that you might be hogging ALL the adjectives and not leaving any for anyone else to use?

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