VIDEO: San Jose city leaders ask community to help with housing for displaced Coyote Creek flood victims


SAN JOSE (KRON) — San Jose city leaders are calling on the community to help with the ongoing effort to find housing for those who were displaced due to the Coyote Creek flood.

“Our goal is simple. We need to get 500 people housed,” mayor Sam Liccardo said. “We’re on our way, but we need to do it faster.”

Liccardo is sending a message to landlords: you come up with the housing and the city will pay the rent.

“We will be the source for the funds for the rent and security deposit, and if property owners can forego the security deposit, so much the better, but we will provide the resources,” Liccardo said. “We simply need to find the inventory.”

The city estimates that approximately 500 families remain unable to return home.

Displaced residents qualify for temporary rental subsidies funded by the flood victims relief fund, but the tight Silicon Valley rental market has created a significant barrier to housing flood victims.

“We are looking specifically for apartments that are short term rentals, one, two months up to six months so people can stabilize,” Catholic Charities CEO Greg Kepferle said.

“Finding available units is going to be a challenge, so it’s a matter of getting the information to the city and then matching the available units with the appropriate tenants,” Vice President of Public Affairs at California Apartment Association Anil Babbar said.

Already stepping up to help are the owners of Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park, where 20 vacant units are being made available.

“We’ve had some bad press over the mobile home situation in town, so we thought that, as a family, if we can help some people in need, why not do it,” Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park President Lee Arioto said.

Over the past month, the city has cleared some 4,000 units for re-entry while the number of people still living in the overnight shelter is down to 70.