San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan is calling the rapid growth of so-called “quick-build units” the city's "most promising solution for ending San Jose’s era of encampments."
In his monthly newsletter, the mayor cheered groundbreaking ceremonies for 204 beds as “something truly groundbreaking – San Jose’s soon-to-be largest “quick-build” interim housing community.”
He said the units will be built “at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the construction time of building long-term permanent housing.”
The site, located on Branham Lane, will have 204 beds and is estimated to support up to 612 people annually. It will be the first to leverage verticality, with three stories worth of modular, prefabricated apartment units.
“When the first quick-build community opened in 2020 in response to the pandemic, we saw the number of people living on our streets drop for the first time since 2015,” Mahan wrote. “We began scaling up these communities because we felt a moral imperative to get people into individual shelters as fast as possible.”
“We know we can do it, and we know that it works,” he said, saying that the city is making headway “in reducing the number of people suffering on our streets.”
“These units may be temporary but our progress isn’t. Most of these people will not be returning to the streets.”
The quick-build units, the mayor said, “give people a chance to get back on the right path – a chance for a better future. And the data tells us they’re taking it.”
He said, “If recent experience holds, over 70% of the people this community serves will remain stably housed after their time here – with over half graduating to permanent housing.”
Each of the new units will “stabilize”an average of three people per year, he said. multiplying their impact.
“The fears of some naysayers have not been realized,” Mahan wrote. “These communities have proven to be good neighbors. Comparing the year before with the year after each of these sites have opened, calls for service for crime and blight have gone down.”