March 5, 2018

Dear District 2 Neighbors,

The Bridge Housing Community (BHC) candidate site in District 2 on Hellyer Ave. and Silicon Valley Rd. is NO LONGER UNDER CONSIDERATION. This is because the property is in negotiations for a land trade with the County of Santa Clara. The City has recently learned that the County will not be able to accommodate the request to use the Hellyer Ave. and Silicon Valley Rd. site for a BHC. Additionally, the specific County funding restrictions require the site be used for park purposes only. Therefore, there are currently NO BHC candidate sites in District 2.  The Housing Department will continue to evaluate the remaining two candidate sites in District 3 and District 7 to determine the most viable and development-ready site to host a BHC pilot project. For more information on this decision, please view the memorandum from the Housing Department: Elim ination of Council District 2 Bridge Housing Community Candidate Site .

The decision to eliminate the District 2 site is consistent with my first assessment of the location. After visiting each of the three proposed BHC candidate sites, it was clear that this property was NOT an appropriate location for such a development. The site is problematic because it is isolated. It has no access to food, retail, or other basic necessities; it lacks public transportation service; and it is too close to Coyote Creek, which creates environmental concerns that may be too costly to mitigate. 

I remain fully committed to exploring and implementing a multitude of programs and resources to address our City’s homeless crisis. As a City and as a community, we have a long way to go to fully eliminate homelessness. We will go much further and see greater success if we address homelessness as a united front.

It is evident that we care about the plight of our neighbors living on the streets. The main thought of divergence is HOW we solve homelessness -- not whether it is worth solving. It is natural to disagree. If we start from a place of compassion and sincerely recognize the deep need, we can find a solution that works for all.

Fearmongering, stereotyping the unhoused, or opposing housing developments simply because they are in our backyard does not solve the problem. It exacerbates it. In District 2, we are not immune to the consequences of our housing crisis. Therefore, we cannot expect to be exempt from participating in a solution. More importantly, now is the time to have the courage to implement solutions that are as vast and diverse as our community.

I encourage you to stay engaged in the BHC process. This is a Citywide project. Its success is imperative to all San Jose residents -- not just those in the District where it is ultimately built.

MORE INFORMATION:

  1. Please visit my website: Homelessness in District 2
  2. To receive the latest updates: Sign up for my newsletter
  3. Memorandum from the Housing Department: Elimination of Council District 2 Bridge Housing Community Candidate Site
  4. Memorandum from the Housing Department: Top Three Candidate Sites for Bridge Housing Communities
  5. Bridge Housing Communities FAQ's 
  6. The City of San José's Housing Department website: Bridge Housing Communities

If you have questions or concerns about Bridge Housing Communities or homelessness in general, please contact my Chief of Staff Vanessa Sandoval at vanessa.sandoval@sanjoseca.gov , or at 408-535-4925.

In community,
Councilmember Sergio Jimenez