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San Jose to expand tiny homes for homeless amid opposition from neighbors

San Jose to expand tiny homes for homeless amid opposition from neighbors
San Jose to expand tiny homes for homeless amid opposition from neighbors 02:29

SAN JOSE – The city of San Jose has approved a major expansion of its tiny home program for the homeless, even as it faces opposition from neighbors of one location who say it's ill-advised.

"It's definitely not an easy decision, you know. Where is the best spot?" says Frank Fong.

A tiny-home community on city-owned land across the street from Noble Elementary and down the block from the Berryessa Library is raising questions and drawing criticism even from the city councilmember representing the area.

"This is site is next to an elementary school, a middle school, a library, a park and a series of trails that people use every day. So, every negative thing that the residents will point to is why a site shouldn't be there," says District #4 City Councilmember David Cohen.

"Tiny homes" to house the homeless in San Jose. CBS

The Nobel Avenue site is one of six locations approved by the city council Tuesday either for brand-new tiny home encampments or expansion of existing ones.

Fong, however, questions the wisdom or suitability of the Berryessa site given its proximity to a school, park and popular library.

"What exactly are you bringing to the elementary school? And also, there's a lot of traffic at the library. So, that's a major concern," he said.

Homeless advocates say that neighborhood opposition should not be allowed to stand in the way of addressing the urgent needs of the unhoused.

"We have to make accommodations somewhere. Everyone's going to say, 'Not in my neighborhood... because.' Where's a better spot? Help us find one. I do understand though, I do understand the reluctance," pastor Scott Wagers told KPIX 5.

Cohen said he will continue to press the city to go back to drawing board and consider other sites within the district that he considers a better fit for the program.

"I don't think we can go out and say it's a done deal yet," he said.


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