Mike Colgan/KCBS Radio

San Jose Looks To Tiny Cabins To Help Homeless People

Mike Colgan
December 11, 2018 - 9:38 am

SAN JOSE — San Jose officials plan to add dozens of small, inexpensively built cabins as a way to temporarily house people who are living on the streets. 

Officials unveiled a prototype of the 80-square-feet structures outside of city hall on Monday. The so-called tiny homes are designed for short-term stays and will be equipped with electricity, but no running water. 

"Bridge housing communities are designed to be interim housing sites that are safe, healthy and provide a dignified environment where our unhoused residents can successfully transition from the streets into one of these bridge housing communities and finally into a home," said the city's Director of Housing Jacky Morales Ferrand. 

At a cost of $6,500 each, officials plan to install 80 of them at two sites in San Jose, a CalTrans property near I-680 and Highway 101 and a Valley Transportation Authority location near Coyote Creek. 

Mayor Sam Liccardo said he hopes that 120 people will cycle through each site per year. It takes an average of 62 days for a person with housing voucher to find an available apartment. These cabins can be helpful during that phase of a search. 

"People come in and out for what we expect will be relatively brief durations as we get people into permanent housing," he said. 

The city council is expected to approve to vote in favor of building the homes on Dec. 18. If approved, the first cabins would be available in June.