The Santa Clara Valley Water District is holding a community meeting in Mountain View on Wednesday to solicit feedback on a plan to get homeless residents out of the creek and into district-owned homes in the Waverly Park neighborhood.
The water agency owns 19 homes in the neighborhood along Stevens Creek, including properties on Diercx Drive, Franklin Court, Franklin Avenue, Pastel Lane and Sleeper Avenue. These single-family homes currently serve as market-rate rental properties. Last November, the district's Homeless Encampment Ad Hoc Committee suggested that as these homes become vacant, the water district could work with Santa Clara County's Office of Supportive Housing to allow homeless families to move in.
The proposal was intended to help cut down on the millions of dollars it takes to clean homeless encampments along the county's waterways, which has cost taxpayers $3.5 million over the last three years.
The water district's Board of Directors welcomed the suggestion, but ultimately tabled the proposal after nearby residents complained they weren't informed about the proposal and didn't have enough information on who might be living in the neighborhood. Others complained that the location is not suited for homeless families because of its distance from public transportation, grocery stores and other services.
The board indicated at the meeting that any action on how to use the properties would need to be done "in agreement" with the city of Mountain View, though it's not clear whether the city would block the proposal. Mayor Ken Rosenberg sent a letter to the district last year, in his then-capacity as vice mayor, stating concerns that the homes would be ill-suited for homeless housing.
The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. at Huff Elementary School, located at 254 Martens Avenue. The water district also extended its invitation to the county Office of Supportive Housing and Mountain View's housing department.
"Understanding and addressing the concerns of our neighbors are critical to the Board and District in developing pragmatic, yet impactful policy and programmatic proposals," according to a statement by the water district.