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The City is committed to offering balanced solutions to address this complex issue.
At the March 19, 2019 Council Meeting, the City Council directed staff to draft an Oversized Vehicle Parking Prohibition Ordinance with exceptions including vehicles parked adjacent to their residence or business (property owner, tenant, or their guest), government authorities, utilities, emergency vehicles, and disabled placard or license plate holders; and to draft a Safe Parking Ordinance, including a streamlined temporary-use-permit (TUP) for churches to allow more than 4 vehicles per lot and that includes the temporary use of Shoreline Lot B through March 2020 (when Shoreline use for Safe Parking will end) and the use of a City-negotiated lot. Allocate funding as part of the FY 2019-20 budget process to continue both enforcement and programs related to connecting those in need to services, homeless prevention and rehousing. In addition, to engage with other state and county agencies for enforcement of the RV occupancy laws and legislative tools, as well as rental of substandard RVs, as well as review of the short-term, emergency rental assistance program to make it more flexible and help more people.
This approach will include an oversized vehicle parking prohibition, but also allocates nearly $900,000 in funding to continue services associated with the unstably housed and homeless, this is in addition to just over $1 million the City has already funded in the last two years on programs and services. This includes expanding the safe parking program with a possibility of as many as 60 parking spaces, along with continuing other services to provide links to housing.
March 19, 2019: City staff will be presenting an update to the City Council as part of the March 19 Council Meeting. Topics covered will be: progress on the survey results, latest estimation of unstably housed, updates on programs that are already under way, and items requested by Council in March 2018, including a study on parking enforcement options. No Council decisions will be made until Tuesday, March 19.
The full report and attachments will be available HERE when posted under the 2019-03-19 Council Agenda Packet.
The 2018-19 Living in Vehicles Survey closed for responses on January 31, 2019. City staff hand-entered and translated all returned paper copies of the survey into the same system by February 18, 2019. While data will be presented on March 19, 2019 at the City Council Meeting, you can access the results here or by going by going to MountainView.gov/LivinginVehiclesSurvey.
October 2018: On October 9, 2018, the Council provided direction for the implementation of a short-term safe parking program on a private lot to be operated by the local non-profit MOVE, and asked for a return update on homeless initiatives, including options for parking enforcement the first quarter of 2019.
August 2018: City funding and local partnerships with County services, regional nonprofits and local faith-based groups are seeking to transition local homeless and people living in vehicles to more stable living situations. As described in The View citywide residential newsletter, one prominent effort is a pilot safe parking program launched with the help of local faith-based groups. The City Council voted in March 2018 to provide additional funding for parking enforcement to address neighborhood and traffic safety concerns while the pilot program explores safe parking as an alternative to parking on City streets. The City is also involved in pilot programs for such things as sanitary services (Dignity on Wheels) and additional street cleanings.
Coordinated on-the-ground outreach is helping to check on the welfare of those living on the streets and address concerns from surrounding housed neighbors. A Community Services Agency (CSA) Outreach Worker, a Case Manager with Peninsula Healthcare Connections and a Mountain View Police Department Outreach Officer connect homeless people and people living in vehicles with the regional CSA Emergency Assistance Network and the County’s mobile health-care and supportive housing program and rapid-rehousing program.
July 2018: Groundbreaking Event at Hope's Corner
Congratulations to Hope's Corner at the Corner of Hope and Mercy in Mountain View! Today was the groundbreaking celebration for building a new commercial kitchen and laundry facilities, held at Trinity United. The new facilities will support Hope's Corner and a wide range of outreach and social services to the community. At the event, it was announced that a donation of $1M was made by Google to Hope's Corner to help address the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. Learn more about the new facilities at: www.hopes-corner.org
June 2018: Safe Parking "Lots of Love" Pilot Program
Lots of Love is a new, independent non-profit that has taken on the challenge to provide a safe space with overnight parking and supportive services for small pilot program assisting those in need in our community. They are an important part of a number of new safe parking programs in the region seeking to help the growing number of residents and regional employees living out of their cars and RVs. This program is funded by Santa Clara County and the City of Mountain View (Mountain View funding for the pilot program ($55,300 to June 2018- June 2019) County Funding for the pilot program ($287,525 to June 2018-June 2020).
The City supports this modest, but important contribution to addressing the 250-300 residents living in vehicles on Mountain View streets. This pilot program is not intended to be a solution to the affordable housing crisis, and is not the only answer to getting residents living in vehicles off neighborhood streets. The City and the County continue implementing a number of affordable housing strategies and supportive services for the most vulnerable unstably housed, homeless, and low-income families.
Lots of Love is a new, independent non-profit that has taken on the challenge to provide a safe space with overnight parking and supportive services for small pilot program assisting those in need in our community. They are an important part of a number of new safe parking programs in the region seeking to help the growing number of residents and regional employees living out of their cars and RVs. This program is funded by Santa Clara County and the City of Mountain View. Each supports this modest, but important contribution to addressing the 250-300 residents living in vehicles on Mountain View streets. This pilot program is not intended to be a solution to the affordable housing crisis, and is not the only answer to getting residents living in vehicles off neighborhood streets. The City and the County continue implementing a number of affordable housing strategies and supportive services for the most vulnerable unstably housed, homeless, and low-income families.
One church signed on and a number of others are considering it, and are going through similar outreach and engagement with their neighbors. Initial plans include three to four vehicles hosted at churches, which does not require a City permit as it is a compatible temporary use. A Temporary Use Permit (TUP) application would be required for hosting more vehicles and services on church property. Services will include case management by CSA with on-going engagement, and lot monitoring will be provided. There will be a number of ways you can reach out to the non-profit to offer feedback on the three-month pilot program; the aim of the pilot period is to ensure any issues are addressed. The Lots of Love pilot program starts on or about July 2, 2018.
March 2018: The City of Mountain View has been actively pursuing initiatives that would help local homeless and people living in vehicles get back on a path to permanent housing, while providing short-term emergency relief in the form of temporary pilot programs. In March 2018, City Council approved the continuation of these pilot programs, which leverage partnerships with County services, regional nonprofits and local faith-based groups. Although the March report to Council included additional options for parking enforcement, the Council chose not to significantly change parking restrictions until more options could be developed, such as the launching of a pilot safe parking program by local faith-based groups. The Council also added additional funding for elevated parking enforcement.
Through regional and local partnerships, the City has been able to coordinate pilot programs for such things as local waste-dumping services, sanitary services and additional street cleanings. The City has also helped to fund more on-the-ground outreach. A Community Services Agency (CSA) Outreach Worker, a Case Manager with Peninsula Healthcare Connections and a Mountain View Police Department outreach officer have been working to connect homeless and people living in vehicles with available services from the regional Emergency Assistance Network, including the County’s mobile health-care program and programs for supportive and/or rapid-rehousing. The on-the-ground outreach provides coordinated process to check on the welfare of those living on the streets and to assist surrounding housed neighbors with any concerns.
October 24 City Council Study Session Update
At the affordable housing study session, staff estimated that the City’s various housing fee programs would generate approximately $78 million over the next four years, based on the current projects that are in the pipeline. Staff recommended that approximately $50 million be invested in general affordable housing developments at 60% AMI and below for a goal of 350-400 units, and up to $28 million for permanent supportive housing/rapid rehousing for a goal of 200-250 units. The City Council supported this investment strategy. Staff is working with the County, non-profit developers, and external partners to explore how to achieve this goal.
For background information, including studies, surveys and strategies and related Council reports, click here: Homelessness Study, Survey and Strategy
The City understands concerns about maintaining the quality of life in Mountain View and balancing interests of those living in vehicles with those of our neighbors. While most residents living in vehicles abide by laws, Mountain View has continued to enforce other code provisions when applicable, such as illegal waste dumping or trespassing.
The best way for people to help is to volunteer or donate money or items to members of the Emergency Assistance Network (EAN), which include the Community Services Agency here in Mountain View. Get more information about local EANs and the Community Services Agency in the links below.
Santa Clara County Hotlines are also available:
As part of the Valley Homeless Healthcare Program, Santa Clara County Public Health is now providing their mobile health for services at CSA. This program provides medical services, mental health services, substance use services, and social work and outreach services to homeless and low-income individuals. It is part of expanded efforts to provide services to North County. Services will be provided to Mountain View: Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Community Services Agency (CSA) located at 204 Stierlin Road, Mountain View.
Santa Clara County Hotlines are also available:
For questions about the City's homeless initiatives, use AskMV and choose "Homeless/Living in Vehicles" from the menu.
For questions about parking violations, use AskMV and choose "Police Department/Parking Enforcement" from the menu.