Mountain View's City Council made the allocation at its meeting Tuesday, April 5, though several council members had reservations about the project, questioning the competence of the company that would operate the home. At the meeting, council members tied the funding to a review of the organization, Senior Housing Solutions, and an inspection of other properties it operates in the Bay Area.
Council member Laura Macias said the city didn't have enough information about the company, and its previous arrangements with other cities.
"The amount of (funding allocated) requires that we not suppose that a group home is well-executed, but that we know for sure," she said.
Council members did, however, generally support the idea of providing new housing for low-income senior citizens. At the council meeting, Bob Campbell, executive director of Senior Housing Solutions, said nearly all the people served by his organization come to the homes from a "temporary" living situation. In other words, they're homeless, he said.
Council members noted the dearth of applications for housing projects that serve people with low incomes.
"My feeling is, 'Why not take the opportunity to try this out?'" said Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga.
About $660,000 of the funding for the project will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The remainder of the funds — as little as $259,000 or as much as $550,000 — will come from the city's below-market-rate housing fund.
At the same meeting, the council approved the use of HUD funds for a variety of other projects, including $1.09 million to rehabilitate three low-income rental apartment complexes owned by MidPen Housing. The city will also spend $450,000 to make sidewalks along Shoreline Boulevard comply with regulations set out by the Americans with Disabilities Act.