City Council to Consider Housing Purchase For Elk Grove's Homeless, Authorize City Manager For Future Purchases

5725 Moon Creek Way, Elk Grove. |  

February 12, 2018 |  

As part of its solution to address the growing homeless population in the community, the Elk Grove City Council will consider the purchase of a residential dwelling to provide services at their Wednesday, February 14 regular meeting.

The first housing unit the city council will be asked to consider purchasing has a price tag of $453,000. The house is located at 5725 Moon Creek Way in the far northwest corner of the city in the city council District 1 area. 

According to the staff report on the proposed purchase, the city received $5 million in the 2017 California budget to connect homeless individuals and families with permanent housing through so-called navigation centers. In November 2017 the city council directed city staff to use up to $2 million for the purchase of housing units and $1 million for administrative services.

In addition to the purchase of the Moon Creek Way residence, the city council will be asked to give city manager Laura Gill the authorization to purchase other units up to $500,000 without their prior approval. By ordinance, the city manager can make general purchases of up to $50,000 without prior authorization.

The report also says in the near run the city could purchase two units, including the Moon Creek Way residences. One facility will focus on families and the other on single adults.

As with the other units the city has previously purchased, the city will deed the units to private non-profits who will coordinate services for resident clients and manage day-to-day operations. 

Wednesday's meeting starts at 6 p.m. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

In every election cycle, the incumbent City Council members preach ad- nauseam about "more transparency in government" and "stronger neighborhoods". In this case, the Council proposes a sneaky and deliberate sabotage of both those ideals.

First, when the city plans to purchase homes in established neighborhoods to specifically house non-traditional occupants (i.e. homeless) and in keeping with their tired slogan of "stronger neighborhoods", the city at least owes the residents in the immediate area special noticing and at least, a workshop explaining the ins-and-outs of such an operation. Yes, there may be blowback, or maybe not, but that is what happens when you impact areas where your residents have made the largest investment of their lives.

Our elected representatives may lean on some legal mumbo-jumbo about government land purchases need to be done in confidentiality to ensure a fair price, the operation is legal, and that private parties conduct real estate transactions all the time without notifying the neighborhood in advance. Maybe so, but for a city that preaches stronger neighborhoods and is using taxpayer money (regardless of the actual government agency that gave the money), the city is acting like hypocrites on our dime.

Then, to drive the final dagger into the heart of hypocrisy, the city also wants to dispense with any public hearings for future purchases of homeless homes, by allowing the city manager to complete the transactions behind the comfort of the walls of city hall. Talk about transparency in government!

Next time a politician leaves a flyer on our porches preaching stronger neighborhoods and more transparency in government, let's throw it in the streets so our soon-to-be increased sales tax dollars can be used to create jobs for our street sweepers--you know that spiel...economic development. At least one outta three ain't bad!

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