Letter to the Editor: Tiny Homes Are a Good Start—But They’re Too Small for Homeless Families

Dear Editor,

I am enthusiastically supportive of the new “tiny homes” development in our city. It’s a major step in the right direction towards affordable—albeit short-term—housing.

I am writing this letter with one concern: How do these developments plan to address homeless families that make up 33 percent of the homeless population?

California has the highest rate of homeless families and runaway youth. The 80-square-foot homes would not be adequate for more than one individual, making families unable to access this vital resource. Housing availability in the San Jose area is severely lacking, with waitlists being shut down or extending years into the future.

In future developments, I believe there should be an effort made towards housing that targets families. Children are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of homelessness, including poor long-term health, behavioral, and educational outcomes.

Sincerely,

Cheyenne Dufall
Masters in Social Work Candidate, San Jose State University

13 Comments

  1. > In future developments, I believe there should be an effort made towards housing that targets families.

    Good idea. You really have a big heart.

    Unfortunately, as far as I know, no one in San jose gives away free houses for families.

    Maybe you could find such a place and let us know where it is. We’ll be more than happy to provide bus tickets for the families to relocate and move in.

    • Well, there are 10,000 NON-subsidized three and four bedroom homes for families that are currently happily living in them BUT the planning department of San Jose would like to see us bulldozed down to make room for MORE jobs!!!!

      Bubble…you and I don’t agree in much but we both agree that city planners usually do not make a city better.

      Homes for families? That is a fiscal net negative for the city. We’re like the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movie. We don’t want children in this city! They cost money!

      • > Homes for families? That is a fiscal net negative for the city. We’re like the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movie. We don’t want children in this city! They cost money!

        True dat!

        The pointy heads of urban planning in San Jose seem to think it is planning genius and their God-given mission to provide stack and pack housing in San Jose for the familyless employees of Mountain View and Sunnyvale high tech companies. In the words of one City Council candidate, “the future of housing in San Jose is denser and higher”.

        Their planning policies (supported by the San Jose CIty Council majority) are an attack on single family housing and an attack on the people who live in single family housing – – – > FAMILIES!

  2. Thank you, just govt tossing money were it does not belong, just another @valleywater waste fraud and 40 homes but only 9 ppl so far, why, there is other issues. Really go down to the creek end of Orvis that valleywater is to maintain, the ask for ppl to do it for free, anyway its not single ppl its family’s . Did the city reach out and talk to the homeless?? No just like light rail and the train to nowhere(high speed) and Bart, sending tons of people to Europe, heck just ask residents who lived in Europe instead of wasting tax dollars. The empire is over.
    again thank you

  3. The gushing praise for homeless tiny homes conveniently omits facts.
    1. The construction cost / sq ft. is considerably higher than muti-tenant housing as is cost of ownership (HVAC, maintenance, security, etc.).

    2. Far less expensive to install used mobile homes or FEMA surplus housing.

    3. Let’s remember that SJPD Chief Garcia spoke at a public meeting about the 2017 Donner Lofts shooting. Garcia stated SJPD gets a disproportional number of calls for Donner residents – many residents are formally homeless. They are often violent. SJPD dispatches 3 officers to Donner calls v. typically 1 offer for other service calls Garcia stated.

    4. SJ Homeless Services Director Ray Bramson and employee Kelly Hemphill advised that SJ has been unable to fill even 50% in almost 18 months after the program launched for SJ’s chronic homeless. He mentioned prostitution, drug dealing, appliance & fixtures theft, noise, and sanitary conditions that made the apartment unsuitable for habitation. Neighbors were impacted too.

    Ray mentioned that some could not be domiciled, but slept on balconies ( SJ’s chronic homeless evidently got apartments with balconies).

    5. Virtually anyone that wants to turn their lives around can seek housing, job training, food, clothing at Salvation Army, CitiTeam, etc. And unlike SJ Homeless, the Salvation Army publishes data on their success rate.

    6. Salvation Army clients can remain for up to a year to become stabilized and acclimated; Tiny Homes clients get 3 months. At least 3 months are often needed to respond to drug & alcohol abuse. Psychiatric conditions often take longer to adjust to meds and treatment.

    7. How will taxpayers know success rates or other critical measures that we fund? I’m unaware that SJ requires or collects outcome data for the millions per year we spend on homeless services.

    We will continue to squander millions on a growing homeless problem until it is properly managed.

    • Ray mentioned that some could not be domiciled, but slept on balconies ( SJ’s chronic homeless evidently got apartments with balconies).

      Great post, taxpayer….

  4. Your #2 point. Yes, mobilehomes/manufactured homes are WAY cheaper. If only people in government would study WHY they are cheaper. The answers to many of our housing problems could get answered if we study what works and why it works. Instead there is this cult like thinking coming out of all planning departments around “smart urban planning”. If this type of planning is so smart how come for every one person housed there are three more people that become homeless? NOT SMART!

    • Its really not about being able to afford to live here its about not being a substance abuser and not having mental issues. The political talking heads like to ramble on about housing costs. Nonsense

      • Don’t forget about having too many kids you cannot afford to feed and house, because you are either too stupid or too lazy to practice responsible birth control. I’m tired of being asked to support irresponsible breeders.

        • Children I thought this was a progressive city, we don’t need no stinking children. We got abortion .We got plenty of good illegal aliens to replace children with. Anyone with less than two people per room should be required to adopt a drug snorting stranger, pot head or a drunk. Progressive compaction should be compulsory in the bay area.

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