A look back - 5 years ago the Elk Grove City Council discussed homelessness, affordable housing

One issue vexing every California municipality is homelessness and the accompanying affordability crisis. As Elk Grove's recent history ...

One issue vexing every California municipality is homelessness and the accompanying affordability crisis.

As Elk Grove's recent history has shown, failure to comply with state laws such as Senate Bill 35 has landed the city in hot legal water with the state of California. Although the lawsuit stemming from the rejection of the Oak Rose has made the issue front and center, the city has tried dealing with this in the past.

One such example was a special meeting conducted over five years ago. On Tuesday, May 29, 2018 the Elk Grove City Council convened a special meeting to discuss the matter.

Of the five members of that city council, only District 1 representative Darren Suen remains, although two members, Pat Hume and Stephanie Nguyen, have been elected to higher offices. 

Although the council members covered many possibilities, such as transitional housing, tiny homes, or navigation centers, nothing substantial came from that meeting that has eased the city's homeless population (see highlights of that meeting in the video below).  

Interestingly, Suen made a statement that had he, along with Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and Vice Mayor Kevin Spease, heeded when they rejected (along with Hume and Nguyen) the Oak Rose project in July 2022, might have avoided the political damage, even if it is short-term, they have inflicted on themselves and the monetary costs to taxpayers.  

"No matter what, we are going to face unhappy residents with what we do," Suen said. "We are going to feel the brunt of the community no matter what."

It's too bad Suen didn't follow his own words. 

As for the future, once the city council gets past this self-inflicted debacle, don't expect they will make unpopular decisions, especially with elections quickly approaching. It is much easier for Mayor Singh-Allen and her four councilmen to leave that to some other group of council members.  

Photo courtesy Mart Production. 

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1 comment

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

It is worth remembering that former city council members Mr. Hume and Ms. Nguyen formed their so-called homeless committee. That committee was nothing but a ploy to bolster their respective campaigns for higher office.

When it comes to dealing with homelessness and housing affordability, for the city council historically its all performative. Make it look like they are doing something until they move on to another higher office.

It helped Mr. Hume and Ms. Nguyen so not doubt Ms. Singh-Allen had this on her mind. Too bad for the mayor the Oak Rose imbroglio has become a roadblock.

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