Melissa Colorado

Berkeley Considers Using Empty Lot for Homeless RVs

An empty lot will be the focus of a lot of discussion at a Berkeley City Council meeting Tuesday. The city owns a small plot of land on the 1200 block of University Avenue.

After plans to build affordable housing fell through, there's a new plan to turn that plot into a parking lot for people living in recreational vehicles. But that's not sitting well with some people who live next door to that lot.

The city's Housing Advisory Commission wants to build permanent affordable housing on the patch of land. But many know that is going to take time and money.

In the meantime, the commission says they want to turn the lot into a safe parking site for people living in RVs. Neighbors NBC Bay Area spoke to asked us the same question: how many RVs does the city think they can pack in there?

"You want to plan them next door to me where I already got rat problems and mice problems," Berkeley resident Nadine Dixon said.

Dixon invited an NBC Bay Area crew into her apartment on the 1200 block of University Avenue. If you roll up the blinds to her kitchen window, you'll see a 3,600 square foot lot sitting empty for now.

The City of Berkeley owns the parcel that is sandwiched between two apartment buildings. Behind the lot, the Berkeley Way Mini Park. This is where the Housing Advisory Commission wants to set up a parking site for people living in RVs.

The commission said it will handpick the eight to 10 RV residents who can move in. Those who have jobs or go to school in Berkeley will get first dibs.

The housing commission is still asking the city to put out a request for proposals to build affordable housing. Last December, one proposed project fell through over money issues.

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