VACAVILLE, Calif. — A tiny homes project for the homeless in Vacaville is itself looking for a new home after community opposition to its original location had leadership consider other options.
Solano County's tiny homes pilot project follows a housing first, low barrier model. That means potential tenants would not have to be sober before entering the program, but they would have to start a treatment program upon entering.
Originally, the county was intending to put the project on county land near services at the William J. Carroll Center on Brown Street, but, the location didn’t rest well with community members in the area.
After four hours of community comments both in support and against the project, Vacaville City Council approved sending a letter of opposition to the location of the tiny homes project on Brown Street. The letter was supportive of the project but not the intended location.
"I think it’s fair to say that many people in the neighborhood where this project was proposed were against it, and they came to several previous council meetings as well as Board of Supervisors meetings to express those feelings," said Mark Mazzaferro, spokesperson for the City of Vacaville, in a Feb. 15 email.
Despite opposition, the tiny home pilot project is still a county project and, according to Supervisor Skip Thomson, who has led the project, the opposition doesn’t have much effect on the project itself.
This is something that even the City of Vacaville recognizes. Mazzaferro acknowledged this as well on Feb. 15 telling ABC10 in an e-mail that “the property is county property, and they can build whatever they on that property.”
Both Solano County and the City of Vacaville are intending to work together and find a different location or pose a different solution.
What happens next for the tiny homes project
Next steps for the project are still are being decided.
“…not sure what the next steps will be, but the city has agreed to work with the county of finding a location for this project or finding some other solution to this issue,” Mazzaferro told ABC10 in a Feb. 15 email.
During a Feb. 22 phone interview, Thomson noted that the City of Vacaville will select the new site and also get approval from the neighborhood.
After that’s taken care of, next steps can be addressed, however, Thomson said he will “continue to push for a location in Vacaville.”
While there is an agreement to work together, Thomson said that it would be difficult for him to wait a year on the project for an acceptable location.
That means Brown Street could find itself back on the table if a new location isn’t found, possibly even if six months go by without a new location, according to Thomson.
As of Feb. 22, Mazzaferro said he doesn’t think any alternate sites have been discussed yet, so there are currently no front runners or other sites currently being considered.