Mayor Mahan Says ‘Quick-Build’ Temporary Housing Will End San Jose Homeless Encampments

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.”


  1. I just hope that these units will finally enable authorities to remove the vagrants along the trails, sidewalks, underpasses, and creeks that defecate in my yard, burn anything flammable, yell and scream, and generally destroy my neighborhood with their filth. Of course, silly me thought that existing laws would already address these crimes, but it appears that claiming “homelessness” will automatically allow one to commit any crime anywhere and anytime. The city’s Homeless Concerns, police, and district council person will NOT enforce any of these laws, but just them continue to destroy our city. My and your tax dollars at work!

  2. Brought to you by the homeless industrial complex and their misguided, grifting advocates and activists.

    After years upon years of throwing Billions of our (the productive element of society) hard earned tax dollars away in support of homeless housing & assistance for a mainly unaccountable, drug addled and mentally afflicted population.

    Time to say: Too bad, So sad, this has festered for too long.

    It just takes some leadership, will power and proper situation management.

    Look at NYC, and how quickly NYC was able to construct large shelters, with
    hundreds of bed capacity to support their fair share of Biden’s Border Crisis illegal entrants.

    San Jose and the Bay area have many warehouses for rent, lease or purchase that could be converted into large operational shelters with enough beds, cots and space to get all of these vagrant camps cleared and cleaned up and the street sleepers sheltered.

    There is no reason that this city, county and state of California, with all the tens of billions $$$ allocated and already wasted could not have built or leased large facilities to accommodate the needed shelter, evaluation, segregation and treatment of the currently
    unsheltered, unaccountable transients and vagrants that are destroying the city and Bay Area.

    All within the absurd restrictions that the 9th circus court put on cities and localities by the Martin vs Boise decision.

  3. $70 million to build 204 units, that can service 612 people per year, assuming you can find them some place permanent to go after.

    Oh, and how many millions is LifeMoves charging to manage these each year? That’s definitely not part of the $70 million cost.

    Still a costly and not-sustainable option to address the bigger issue. Build a medical facilities for rehab and treatment. That should be step one.

  4. Wow. The hatred for homeless people is shocking. You hateful people need Jesus, really.

    Tiny homes are the way to go. Mahan is doing the right thing by focusing on tiny homes, and not huge shelters. Shelters are simply unacceptable to so many people for so many different reasons.

    I’m currently living on the streets of San Jose, and a shelter is simply unacceptable to me for reasons I won’t be sharing here, but a tiny home would be so welcomed.

    The stereotyping of homeless people is based on extreme ignorance.

  5. Talk about “extreme ignorance” as deftly portrayed in the comment by Jose Jesus.

    No one owes you a tiny home, a tent, a burrow or hovel next to one of nature’s creeks, in a public park or on a public or private easement or walkway.
    The gall of these unaccountable and unproductive folks making demands on what type of hardworking taxpayer funded handout they are willing to accept is unbelievable.

    What ever happened to self respect, pride and the American work ethic?
    Take some personal responsibility for your situation and act like an adult and make adult decisions.

  6. Wow, the hate is horrible here. You are choosing to not look at the full situation these homeless folks are in. Each are human, each have there own story. Your fear of any resources going to 1 “unworthy” person just shows how ignorant and bitter you are. I’m so happy they are taking steps to help these folks. Rehab and mental health facilities will be really important as well.

  7. Nuny Nonesense is more like it – few are against helping those that help themselves, providing mental and substance abuse support, and ensuring these folks contribute back to a functioning society.
    The issue is most vagrants do not want that kind of help, as evidenced by the destruction of Seattle, Portland and Frisco, where they are rewarded and enabled without consequence.
    We do not need more of that in San Jose or the greater Bay Area.

    The “Hate” is for the waste of now over $20 Billion dollars of taxpayers hard work and earned sweat equity, of which they cannot even enjoy due to the illegal camps, increased crime and theft and destructive trashing of public spaces and our community parks and trails.

    As for the unaccountable transients and vagrants:
    Hebrews 12:11. ” No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous.
    Neither correction, wholesome restraint, domestic regulations, nor gymnastic discipline,
    are pleasant to them that are thus exercised;
    but it is by these means that obedient children, scholars, and great men are made.
    And it is by God’s discipline that Christians are made.”

  8. We need a new Insane Asylum, a new Treatment Center, and a larger Jail.
    Then we need to enforce the laws already on the books. All paid for by the BILLIONS being squandered already.

    Problem solved.

    Sorry Matt, voted for you but I am so far very unimpressed.

  9. San Jose should change its’ name to “Slum Jose.”
    Decades of incompetent Mayors and City Councils, yes decades, has finally destroyed San Jose.
    David S. Wall

  10. Class A used mobile homes cost ~$10K each. Plus excess FEMA housing may still be available. Vastly less expensive than environmentally wasteful “tiny homes”. SJ could enforce vagrancy ordinances by providing temporarily shelter as is done at warming centers (e.g., National Guard armories that virtually never ran at capacity).

    The Elmwood jail began as work farm. It provided food, shelter, and employment for SCC’s indigent. Why not resurrect?

  11. I just have to mention how soft San Jose Spotlight is for being afraid of the truth on their comment boards due to their Board composition, and efforts to glorify failing efforts around homelessness in Santa Clara County.

    This article represents another delusion that somehow 200 units of interim housing will solve the raging public health and humanitarian crisis in the Bay Area – where thousands and thousands of people suffer daily.

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