The Homekey project site proposed in Mountain View is “poorly understood”
A Mountain View hotel moved closer to its conversion to permanent housing on Tuesday, despite opposition from critics who fear it may simply become a shelter for the homeless.
If approved by the Santa Clara County Oversight Board in November, The Crestview, a 61-room hotel off El Camino Real in Mountain View near the Sunnyvale border, would be bought by the County of Santa Clara with $ 16.6 million in Project Homekey funds. . A project backed by Governor Gavin Newsom, Homekey converted more than 1,600 Bay Area hotels, apartments and other units into permanent housing last year. In September, the state offered an additional $ 2.75 billion to cities, counties and nonprofits for upcoming projects.
After a lengthy period of public commentary including 49 people both supporting and opposing the Mountain View project, the five supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to give the county executive the power to ask for Homekey funds. While the move was not a final decision at the site – to be made on November 2 – no supervisor has raised any major objections to the project.
Critics of the proposal, while acknowledging the general problem of homelessness in the region, raised concerns about security and transparency and described the project as turning The Crestview into a “homeless shelter”.
But supervisor Mike Wasserman rebuffed that description, saying the site would be permanent housing with one-year leases where residents pay rent. He also asked a representative from the county’s housing department to explain the multiple layers of security applicants to the Mountain View site would have to go through to get a spot, which includes a criminal background check.
“I think there is a real misunderstanding just based on the repetition of the posts that were read today,” Wasserman said, referring to some of the public’s distress over the project. He also said that reviews of converting the site to permanent housing were “redundant”, calling some of them “just plain bogus”.
Supervisor Joseph Simitian, whose district includes The Crestview, said he was sympathetic to complaints that the public was not sufficiently aware of the proposal. He noted that despite several press articles published on the project and previous public discussions on it, outreach efforts have been “difficult”.
“We still hear a lot of people say that they did not feel fully informed or engaged in the development that is going on,” he said. “And I believe them, just to be clear. It’s a puzzle we’ll have to solve at some point here.
On October 27, the county office for supportive housing will hold a public discussion on the development.
Supporters of the project said the hotel’s location, which is near a number of bus lines, would be convenient for potential residents. Others pointed to the region’s high housing costs. Aaron Eckhouse, who works for a nonprofit housing advocacy organization in Sacramento, called the project “a blunder for the county.”
The proposal has been a source of division among community members for nearly a year. In January, Mountain View City Council proceeded with the purchase of the site, including a commitment of $ 3.7 million from its own coffers for renovation efforts. The dusting included petitions for both for and against the project, with hundreds of signatories to both.