As mayor in 2016, I initiated an extensive program to address the challenges of homelessness. We have multiple goals such as getting homeless residents into permanent housing while protecting everyone’s driving safety, public health and the environment. On Council, I will continue to support funding for the safety net that the Community Services Agency and Hope’s Corner provide as well as working with the County to provide safe parking for people living in vehicles. The safe parking lots that have been opened up in response to COVID-19 are a significant step forward. Thanks to the County for stepping up to assist the City with this.
I oppose Measure C, the ban on RV’s parking on most of Mountain View streets. In a pandemic where everyone needs a shelter to shelter-in-place, Measure C will either drive RV residents out of Mountain View or make more people homeless. Instead, let’s continue to grow the safe parking program. Huge thanks to the County for removing the legal barrier so our program could grow significantly. With this success, more people may be willing to let us use their lots for safe parking. Also, the Project Home Key effort to build modular units is promising. In the long run, we need to build more housing.
It’s important that we have programs and policies to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, almost 3 times as many people become homeless in a month than can be re-housed. We need better ways to identify people who are at risk of becoming homeless and help them keep their housing. I support the eviction moratorium and rental assistance program implemented by the City Council during this COVID-19 crisis.
Alta Housing, where I serve as a board member, has just opened an affordable apartment project to house people who were formerly homeless, particularly veterans.