Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg took a big step Thursday toward his plan to tackle homelessness with tiny homes.
The mayor and the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) announced Thursday they had released a request for information from local developers who could build 1,000 “efficiency homes” to help shelter the city’s growing homeless population.
Steinberg and housing officials are offering more than $200 million in rental subsidies to developers. Those subsidies would be in the form of Section 8 housing vouchers that would provide guaranteed rental income for tiny home projects and help developers attain financing.
The city is also offering up some of the 4.5 million square feet of vacant land it owns as potential sites for tiny home villages.
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“Today we begin to answer the question of where thousands of people we get off the street are going to live,” Steinberg said in a written statement. “Housing is the final piece of the puzzle if we are truly going to make a demonstrable impact on homelessness in our city. This RFI (Request for Information) represents our city’s commitment to catalyze and harness the emerging and innovative housing solutions to address the homeless crisis.”
More than 3,600 people are estimated to be homeless in Sacramento County – and more than half of those people are living on the streets. While the city is operating a new temporary winter triage shelter in North Sacramento, the city is under pressure to provide more shelter options, especially more permanent facilities.
Developers will be asked to partner with nonprofit service providers in their proposals for tiny home villages. While it is not expected that all 1,000 units would be placed on the same property, the mayor wants to get to that number quickly and has floated the idea of using 300-square-foot modular homes and container units inside warehouses to serve as small shelters.