San Jose Leaders Present Possible Tiny Homes Designs, Plans

San Jose city leaders and a design firm unveiled design plans Monday for building tiny homes for the homeless.

During a news conference at City Hall, officials from design firm Gensler showed sketches and renderings of different designs and said the small homes can be built quickly as emergency, or "bridge," housing while permanent housing is developed.

The tiny homes would range from 80 to 140 square feet, would have no plumbing and just basic electricity. They'd be clustered around a central dining and showering area, officials said.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said asking where the homes will be built is the wrong question because the homeless are already in city parks and neighborhoods. He said the question is will we house them?

"We're going to need to have a lot of public conversation, informally as well as community meetings and of course public meetings at City Hall," Liccardo said. "And we know this process is not going to be simple or straightforward. We're going to hear plenty of our neighbors tell us the homeless should not be housed in their neighborhood.

"What Gensler is offering us," he continued, "is a vision to restoring dignity to many of our brothers and sisters struggling out there on the street."

The homesless say what they want most is safety and privacy.

The first public hearing on the tiny homes proposal is next week.

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