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Hayward Tackles Homelessness With $28 Million in New Housing

HAYWARD (KPIX 5) -- Hayward city leaders now plan to spend millions, to help people in desperate need of housing.

On Tuesday, the city council approved spending $28.6 million to build three new housing complexes specifically for the lowest-income people.

"And each of the projects will have some units that are set aside for the homeless population," said Christina Morales, manager of the Hayward Housing Division.

Depot Road - Hayward Homeless Housing
Artist rendering of the Depot Road complex in Hayward, which will house low-income and homeless people. (CBS)

Most of the money will go to build what is being called the Depot Road complex on land that currently contains the old dilapidated Cronin House.

Depot Road will contain 126 "micro" apartments of 240 square feet, half for low income residents, one quarter for the disabled and one quarter for the homeless.

The project builder, Abode Services, points to their Bridgeway complex in Fremont as a success story.

"There's a big shift happening in the Bay Area to move away from homeless shelters as the answer to creating supportive housing where people can stay as long they're eligible for that housing," said Louis Chicoine, executive director at Abode Services.

That means being a good neighbor and accessing the support services offered at the new complex.

But what if they're not good neighbors? Scott Herborn, who lives across the street from the site, was building a fence because of the homeless who are already in the area.

"They're saying 150 to 200 more homeless people. Hopefully they do a good job and help out the homeless community, but we're a little concerned, that's all," Herborn said.

Advocates say supportive housing, like what they plan to build here, is the only real way to break the cycle of homelessness.

"When they're out in the streets, it's not good for anybody. Not good for the homeless person, certainly isn't good for the community," Chicoine said.

The money for the projects is coming from a mix of developer fees, federal housing grants and Alameda County Measure A1 funds.

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