, June 24, 2022

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New details expected on possible land deal for new Vallejo supportive housing project

  •   3 min reads
New details expected on possible land deal for new Vallejo supportive housing project
A vacant lot on Broadway next to the American Canyon Dog Park is the proposed site for a new Project HomeKey homeless housing project.

VALLEJO – The Vallejo City Council is scheduled to be updated during a special closed session meeting on Tuesday about the city’s possible purchase of a half-acre lot in North Vallejo that would become a 48-unit permanent supportive housing project.

The land, which is located on Broadway Street near the border with American Canyon in North Vallejo, is owned by Richard and Emily Fisher. The couple proposed opening a tent city last December to serve people leaving the city’s Project RoomKey, the local version of a statewide program to help house people experiencing  homelessness during the pandemic.

The council rejected the proposed “Hope Village” tent city plan, which called for the placement of 40 7.5-foot by 7.5-foot tents and four Porta-Potties in a church parking lot at 921 Amador St.

Members of the surrounding neighborhood opposed the idea during a special Dec. 21 city council meeting. The following week, the council was presented with additional locations for the proposed tent city, but a majority of the council expressed support for the housing voucher program instead. That program provides motel rooms and/or mobile homes in Vallejo and Vacaville for about 34 unsheltered people.

The next part of the state’s plan is Project HomeKey, a $1.45 billion program to house people without shelter or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Vallejo was one of five municipalities that was recently awarded Project HomeKey funds, with Vallejo receiving $12.1 million for the North Vallejo project, which will include “a community room, courtyard, and access from both inside and out to a 1,600 Sq. Ft. rooftop deck,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“On-site supportive services will be client-centered, strengths-based and trauma-informed to help participants with goal setting, life skills, financial literacy, budgeting, needs assessments, and linkages to benefits and community resources,” the state’s release said.

Vallejo’s Project RoomKey program was beset with issues including mold infestation and a lack of janitorial services in the hotels participants were staying at. In addition, at least five people died with three of those people not being found for several days.

The city employees who negotiated to get the money from the state included City Manager Mike Malone, Assistant City Manager Gillian Hayes, and City Attorney Veronica Nebb.

Council to evaluate city attorney performance

The city council is also scheduled to evaluate Nebb’s performance as city attorney. Nebb joined the city in November 2020 after being lured away from the law firm Walter & Pistole, in which she served as senior assistant city attorney for the cities of Novato and Martinez.

Nebb replaced Claudia Quintana, who retired in April 2020, after spending eight years as the city’s top lawyer.

Randy Risner, originally hired as chief assistant city attorney, was elevated to interim city attorney in late January 2020 and served in that position until Nebb was hired. Risner applied for the permanent position but the council decided to go in another direction. He moved back to the chief assistant city attorney position following Nebb’s arrival.

Each year the council evaluates the performance of the city attorney and city manager — the only two city positions hired directly by the city council.

The Vallejo City Council is scheduled to meet during a special closed session at 5 p.m., Tuesday inside the Vallejo City Hall Council Chambers, 555 Santa Clara St.

Members of the public will be able to participate in-person or remotely via Zoom.

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