The long-discussed plan to convert a Mountain View hotel into affordable housing is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to accept a $16.6 million Project Homekey grant awarded by the state to convert the 67-room Crestview Hotel, located at 901 E. El Camino Real in Mountain View, into 49 affordable housing units. The project is also supported by $7 million from the county administration and $5.3 million from the City of Mountain View. The county also approved moving forward with Jamboree Housing Corporation as the project developer.
"Prior to today's meeting we did have a community meeting where we shared with the neighbors an update, provided them with a summary of what the award looks like, how the funding will be used, and fielded questions," said Consuelo Hernandez, director of the Office of Supportive Housing. "We anticipate going back to the community after today's decision so they can meet the developer and we can answer some remaining questions that we were unable to answer at the last meeting."
Ingrid Granados with Destination: Home, a public-private partnership organization with a mission to end homelessness in Silicon Valley, said during public comment that the project will provide much needed affordable housing in Santa Clara County. Granados also expressed her organization’s support for the county selecting Jamboree Housing Corporation as the developer, a company that "has demonstrated a strong commitment and has been a longstanding champion for affordable housing," she said.
When the city and county held the project’s first community meeting in March 2021, the concept was met with skepticism and questions from neighboring residents. Many of the concerns revolved around who would be living at the site, a question that the county didn’t have a concrete answer to at the time.
At the June 7 meeting, county officials said the site will prioritize at-risk and vulnerable residents, including unhoused youth aging out of the foster care system.
Supervisor Joe Simitian, who represents District 5 including Mountain View, emphasized the importance of continued community outreach. The county plans to hold its fifth community workshop in early fall but hasn't set a date yet.
"I think in many of these projects, commitments have been made to not only share information with the community but also to listen carefully, stay on top of the issues before they perhaps get unmanageable, and I just want to underscore the importance of that as we continue to do this work," Simitian said at the June 7 meeting.
Mountain View City Council member Ellen Kamei told the Voice that the Crestview project presents an exciting opportunity for another county-city partnership to address the homelessness and housing crisis.
"Seven million is coming from the county and over five (million) is coming from the city, so it’s almost a complete equal match," Kamei said. "In that way I feel like we'll be equal partners, working with nonprofit providers too, to make sure that the people who are in the interim housing get the supportive services that they need."