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Elk Grove Considering Tiny Houses For Homeless

ELK GROVE (CBS13) – The city of Elk Grove is considering a new solution to the homeless crisis: building a community of tiny homes.

"I personally think that there is a lot more homeless now today than ever," said Leyedda Smith, who has lived in Elk Grove for the last 14 years.

Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly says the city council discussed the issue at last week's meeting. The houses would be more than just shabby sheds, but homes with plumbing and small appliances for people who need a fresh start.

"It would be an opportunity to provide a safety net for those people who don't have homes or are encamped in one of our creeks," Ly said. "Something that you can really call it home."

But developing a plan to build tiny homes as transitional housing options would include looking to other cities who have tried a similar strategy.

"I would certainly be open to taking bits and pieces of the various different models that work and piecing it together," Ly said.

"I don't know where you would put them?" said Tim Burke, an Elk Grove resident.

Ly says he's hesitant to single out a possible location but wants to make sure that wherever they are, the homes to give their new occupants a sense of community. The city has run into this issue before and some locals objected to having transitional housing on their streets.

"The neighborhood members came and said 'Hey, not in our neighborhood,'" Ly recounted. "'We didn't anticipate this to come in.'"

Smith told CBS 13 everyone is entitle to their opinion, but that residents shouldn't turn their backs on those in need.

"Embrace em!" Smith said. "Embrace everyone that's trying to live, we're all trying to make it."

And while it's too early for a cost estimate in Elk Grove, Ly would consider working with a developer on a plan of action.

"It's important to see what kind of resources we can offer,"

At this point, there's no timeline yet on when this could happen. But the council has directed city staff to figure out how to make it happen and come back with solutions.

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