Inside the City of Alhambra’s homeless plan

During Alhambra's 2018 homeless count, volunteer Kevin Shaw of South Pasadena searched Alhambra Park to provide an accurate count of homeless individuals in Alhambra. In 2017, Alhambra counted 89 homeless people within city limits. Photo by David Muñoz.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

The City of Alhambra’s homeless plan includes suggestions to explore affordable housing policies.

Approved at last Monday’s City Council meeting, the plan’s first goal is to explore innovative housing solutions to reduce homelessness in Alhambra, as written in the plan itself. This includes exploring zoning policies that incentivize the construction of affordable housing, such as a density bonus. This would allow a developer to build units at a higher density than local zoning allows if some units are affordable. Alhambra would also encourage developers to set aside affordable housing units as part of their plans. These policies would be completed within one to three years of the plan’s approval.

This also includes identifying rapid re-housing units for the local homeless population and incentivizing property owners to build accessory dwelling units to rent to low-income families. The City hopes to get these programs up-and-running in one to two years.

There were 89 homeless people in Alhambra identified by the 2017 homeless count. Unofficial homeless count numbers for 2018 show a drop to 52 people, said Winnie Fong of LeSar Development Consultants, who helped the city develop this plan. Nine homeless Alhambrans have been placed in permanent housing, while 30 were connected to housing services, since the hiring of a housing navigator from Union Station Homeless Services last year.

Other goals in Alhambra’s homeless plan include encouraging local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to participate in the CalWorks subsidized employment program for homeless families, to continue the city’s homeless outreach program with the police department and Union Station and to coordinate with neighboring cities.

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