Home Antioch Antioch Agrees to Pursue $12.3 Million Homeless Motel Program

Antioch Agrees to Pursue $12.3 Million Homeless Motel Program

by ECT

Last week, the Antioch City Council approved the pursuit of a $12.3 million over 5-years for a homeless motel in a 3-1-1 vote. The hotel will be located at the Executive Inn on E 18th in the City of Antioch.

The item returned after the council punted the item at the April 26 meeting where councilmembers wanted more information from other organizations as well as other potential sites—that never occurred nor was a special meeting called as stated in the meeting.

Under the approval of the item:

  1. Authorizing the City to pursue State of California Homekey Program funding for housing opportunities associated with the Executive Inn located at 515 East 18th Street;
  2. Pledging the 5 year City commitment of a subsidy estimated at $12.3 million dollars in local funds; and
  3. Authorizing pursuit of the public procurement process to identify an experienced developer partner to assist with financing, development, long term ownership and operations of the future Homekey site

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica said he applauds the efforts of those trying to get people off the streets, but was not in support of spending $12.3 million for 32-rooms.

“$12.3 million at $82k per room per year, I think that speaks for itself,” said Barbanica. “$12.3 million of taxpayer money going to this.”

Councilmember Monica Wilson was in support of the item.

“Time is now that we help our unhoused residents. We just can’t keep making excuses not to. We see it every day,” said Wilson. “We need to do something because this has been an issue since I was a kid. We need to do something. For me we need to go ahead with this project and see how we can make it happen. I am in favor of this.”

Councilmember Tamisha Torres-Walker stated she had been transparent about her concerns with the project but understood

“I have been clear, very transparent around this project,” she said. “Just when it costs taxpayers money. It costs us less to do preventative care when it comes to healthcare rather than on the back-end when people are already in a medical crisis. It costs us more to put people in jails and prisons than to give people opportunity in communities with resources. We always say the spending is outrageous we are not being smart with taxpayers dollars, is that we’re irresponsible with taxpayers’ dollars in this retrospect when we don’t get unhoused folks off the street.”

Walker argued that you will spend less by providing resources than just leaving people on the street with no resources and putting more funding into policing these folks, using code enforcement services such as abatement and responding to event after event—that all costs taxpayers money.

“I want to see other opportunities, as well,” Torres-Walker stated. “I don’t think anybody’s stalling. I think there were other questions that were not answered that needed to be answered and some of us got those answers and some of us expanded our view.”

Walker told people who are looking at the cost, to rather look at the cost of not doing anything. She urged the council to move forward.

Mayor Lamar Thorpe stated that anyone who had a concern with cost should go have a conversation with city staff as they were spending taxpayer money chasing people from corner to corner cleaning up the messes.

“It is absolutely ridiculous to say, make an issue of investing $12 million over five-years to house people,” said Thorpe. “It will house a number of people who will go through those rooms through a period of time to potentially move them to permanent housing.”

He continued by touting the Louie Rocha program which he said everyone accused them of making a mistake, though he didn’t provide numbers, he called it successful.

“We housed people at the Executive Inn and then we move them to Delta Landing and now those folks are getting the services they deserve and moving to a better place. So to suggest this is a waste of money is ridiculous is because we are wasting money right now,” said Thorpe. “We are literally wasting taxpayer money chasing people from corner to corner cleaning up encampments.”

Thorpe stated the $12.3 million is their cost should they not pursue Homekey and said he was ready to move forward.

“I am tired of people trying to hold up the Executive Inn and hold it hostage for other projects. We need to get this done today,” said Thorpe.

The item was then voted on an passed in a 3-1-1 vote with Barbanica dissenting and Ogorchock absent.

After the vote, on the very next item, the council agree to pursue additional housing solutions, including the Homekey Program and other funding opportunities.

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Jim gamble May 16, 2022 - 7:24 pm

This is a huge mistake. Shoot, I should buy some land. Have tuff shed build rooms, then have portable showers.

Costs about 2.5 milllion with service for port a potties. Also has shower trailers

You save 10 million.

Someone is getting Rich on the back side by millions of dollars

You want to shelter but you do not want to give them a place whereas they as so comfortable they do not have any motivation to do better

Jeff May 17, 2022 - 11:19 am

$82,000 per room per year??? It costs $6,800/month for 1 room?? $227/day?? All multiplied by 32 rooms?

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