City council approves $250K for San Ysidro Park, OKs new zoning for Sobrato Apartments

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The City Council on Monday authorized $250,000 to install a new loop path and LED lights at the 9.25 acre San Ysidro Park.
The upgrades should be completed by the end of April.
The funds are part of an annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) the City of Gilroy receives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This fiscal year, the city received nearly $470,000 in these funds, which fluctuate year-to-year and are based on population size and various criteria including the number of low-income people in the jurisdiction.
The federal funds are spent on a mix of public service activities in the form of small grants to local agencies like the Live Oak Adult Day Center, Gilroy Youth Center, Gilroy Compassion Center, and St. Joseph’s Family Center and community development improvement projects, such as the San Ysidro Park refurbishment.
The city is currently holding workshops for local agencies who want to apply to receive CDBG funds in the next funding cycle. Interested parties should contact Gilroy’s Housing and Community Development Department at 408-846-0290.
The council on Monday also gave the okay to switch the zoning for the Sobrato Apartments at 9369 Monterey Road. Tenants are formerly homeless or families at-risk of homelessness. At last count in 2015, there were 439 identified homeless in Gilroy.
The council’s action allowed the 45 apartments to change from transitional housing to permanent supportive housing.
With the switch, tenants will no longer have to leave after a certain amount of time, instead, they can stay for as long as they need while receiving wraparound services, including financial literacy and vocational workshops and access to social services, programs and agencies.
The aim of permanent supportive housing is to give tenants the tools they need to move on to permanent housing.
Eden Housing, who runs the apartments, has 10 other Gilroy properties in its portfolio, totaling 411 housing units. Nationwide, they operate 8,500 housing units.  
At a previous council session, the city council voiced concern over whether the services would really be provided after hearing that the previous property management company, South County Property Management Corporation, had failed to do so consistently.
Before final approval on Monday, Eden Housing representatives had to answer questions from the council, including whether they can give preference to veterans (they can’t; but they could outreach and encourage veterans to apply) and their experience with turnover (the average length of stay for similar properties is five years). They also gave a list of service providers that will work with tenants.
Permanent supportive housing has been identified across Santa Clara County as an effective way to end long-term homelessness and is part of the housing first initiative that has been supported by county leaders, San Jose City Council and formed the basis for Measure A, the affordable housing bond measure that passed in November.
The city council asked Eden Housing to provide them with an update after a year of operation.