City Council Supports Homeward Bound Housing Project

$400,000 loan approved to transform property on Nave Drive in Hamilton.

's project to at a property in Hamilton now has $400,00 worth of support from the city of Novato.

According a story in the , the Novato City Council voted unanimously to approve the loan to Homeward Bound so it can develop the .70-acre site at 5394 Nave Drive, just east of Highway 101, and help families ease out of homelessness.

In June, Homeward Bound bought the lot previously owned by Henry Ohlhoff Recovery Programs and operated as a 30-bed residential program for people in substance abuse recovery. The nonprofit plans to tear down existing structures and bring in prefabricated two-bedroom homes to the site, along with the potential for a communal play area and small community room. The homes would be rented to long-term tenants by Homeward Bound, which would provide ongoing support services at the site.

According to a staff report provided to the Novato City Council (see attached), the housing units are to be tailored for extremely low income residents and range from 461 square feet to 1,002 square feet. Homeward Bound said it expects each household will be comprised of either a single person or a single parent with one child.

Paul Fordham, Homeward Bound’s deputy director, that he hopes that the units would help toward meeting the city’s affordable housing goals. The organization is also planning to develop them as low-density housing — in the range of 20 units per acre.

Novato, how to you feel about this project? Vote in our poll or add a comment below.

Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr August 25, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Seniors, disabled, teachers, fire fighters and police officers are great potential residents; but they NEVER wind up there. There is ONE Novato PD member who lives in Novato. A nice little old lady who was a friend of former council member Dillon-Knutson lives in low income housing at Hamilton and council member Dillon-Knutson reported that she was afraid to go out of her apartment because of the other tenants, the not-so-nice ones, as council member Dillon-Knutson reported at a council meeting.
Michelle Gallagher August 28, 2012 at 01:55 PM
On paper this sounds like an admirable idea, however who is reponsible for doing the background checks on residents?? Currently, we are subsidizing many violent criminals in subsidized housing because everyone says its not their job to vet residents. While I have no problem providing assistance to families who are moving forward, the city especially Novato Police department is incapable of handling more crime. As their dispatcher so callousely said WE DO NOT HAVE TIME for your calls. The multitude of services as mentioned by Suzie never exists for the the neighbors. We are all lefy out to dry when the inevitable problems arise. Once again shame on the city council for their lack of foresight.
Marla August 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
This is a good program and they offer plenty of supportive services for residents. These will be working families whose household income doesn't cover the high cost of housing. There are hundreds of kids in our schools now who are homeless, think how much better it will be if just a handful of them are able to live in these nice, clean, new homes ith a place to do their homework. It is a much better use of the site then a drug and alcohol treatment center which was walking distance to the school.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr August 28, 2012 at 10:44 PM
@Michelle, right you are. Shame on the city council. For the Hamilton low income housing, the council actively "recruited" in the East Bay. Is there any wonder why it is full of criminals. If we cannot fill current low income housing needs from Marin residents, why do we need more low income housing in Novato, because the social engineers in Sacramento and ABAG want every California city to look just like Antioch, Richmond, and Pomona. Get active. Throw the city council out.
marco alioto August 29, 2012 at 01:49 AM
The City Council must be in the back pocket of the developers. They are destroying Novato. When you congregate groups of disenfranchised people together crime flourishes. Obvious examples are Wyndover, Bay Vista and Marin City. This kind of social enginering does not work. It breeds dependence and apathy destroys the poor by removing incentive and destroys the middle class who must pay for it. The only ones who benefit are the developers and the 2%.


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