Alternative Housing Options


Tents on 16th Street – photo by Zrants.

As many will remember, the homeless set themselves up underneath and along freeways to avoid inclement weather and avoid annoying people. They were moved out of those areas and forced to move into the neighborhoods. I think some residents may want to reconsider their options and allow them to move back there.

The state controls that area around the freeways and state highways, they could reverse course and allow people to move back to the places they first chose before they were pushed into the neighborhoods.

Given the choice between tents on your block and in a sanctioned safe sleeping site nearby, which do you prefer?

Newsom wants to reverse the trend of evicting people out of SROs and to make room for tiny dense, luxury (hardly that, but they rent them out at high rates) hotel rooms, although he didn’t put it that way. He wants cities to buy use some of their emergency funds to buy back those hotels to house the homeless.

One other idea someone gave me yesterday, is to set up sanctioned sites for tiny houses, trailers, and RV under those freeways. If you are worried about social distancing, you can’t beat a separate housing unit with built-in facilities. He just bought his daughter a trailer is trying to get her into one of the few trailer parks in the East Bay. Some cities like Seattle have had great success with tiny house communities, where they allow each community to manage themselves as much as possible. They are so confident in their program that they are expanding it and ordering more tiny houses.

One idea people are throwing around is to turn the empty office and retail spaces into housing. If the rents continue on a downward trajectory, we could even see a return to live-work for people who want to set up cottage industries and work at home.

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