Housing and Homelessness

Tackling Homelessness

The best long-term solution to homelessness is permanent supportive housing distributed throughout the region. We have been pressing the State and County to do their fair share. But there are no easy solutions to homelessness; we need to be open to all possible solutions. That is why, at Kate’s urging, Council established a City-sanctioned encampment on Grayson Street, with sanitation, social services, strict behavioral rules, and parking for RVs. The City’s first sanctioned encampment allows our unhoused neighbors to live in dignity, not be required to exit shelter each day and return at night, and be provided with housing and social service supports.


Kate is also:

  • Supporting our “good neighbor” sidewalk policies to reduce objects accumulating on neighborhood streets while diverting homeless into clean-up jobs in lieu of citations
  • Requesting that mental health services and foot and bicycle community police patrols be provided Downtown
  • Expanding the number of court-supervised mental health placements
  • Continually advocating for adding toilets, hand washing stations and RV pump out facilities
  • Working to offer available shelter to and disband dangerous encampments


Ensuring Developers Pay their Fair Share

It’s easy to signal support for affordable housing, but actually finding the money is a whole different story. In June 2017, the Council passed Kate’s ordinance increasing the fee that developers pay for affordable housing and closed the loophole that let large downtown projects skirt paying for the arts. Kate also served on the committee that placed Measure U-1 the tax on mid-sized and large landlords, on the ballot. These initiatives have generated millions of dollars for housing and the arts. This year, she is proposing a vacancy tax to encourage property owners to put some of our 4,000 vacant units back on the market.

Playing Our Part

If we want affordable housing, we need to preserve what we have and build more, rather than relying solely on market-based solutions. Kate fought hard for $1,000,000 for purchasing small sites and creating land trusts to keep existing apartment buildings affordable. She drafted legislation to allow alternative forms of housing (such as tiny homes) and advocated for funding for transitional housing for youth emerging from foster care. She also helped acquire $600,000 in funding to enhance tenant legal and financial services for tenants in distress. Working with legal non-profits, her office has helped many individuals and small businesses facing eviction and harassment.