SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — With the deadline to clear out a homeless encampment near the San Jose airport on the horizon, city leaders are now asking for more time.
On Tuesday, city leaders voted unanimously to push the June 30 deadline set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration to clear the city’s largest homeless encampment sitting near SJC airport.
The site sits on land purchased with federal dollars for the airport’s flight path in case of any emergency landing. Last year, the FAA sent a letter to the city and the airport threatening to withhold millions in federal funding.
“The very idea that relocation policy is an acceptable response to homelessness is wrong,” said Sandy Perry, with the Affordable Housing Network during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “We need more resources to speed up alternatives like various housing programs, especially safe parks for RVs.”
Pending FAA approval, the deadline to clear the encampment has now been pushed to September 30. Currently, the city estimates there are over 100 people who are still living at the Guadalupe Gardens Encampment.
Throughout the last several months, the city has begun a massive effort to clear nearly half of the 40-acre site but has had to re-sweep the area because homeless individuals continued to return. The city said they’ve been able to provide housing to 71 individuals and repaired nine vehicles since September.