SACRAMENTO, Calif (KTXL) — Sacramento has purchased a large, vacant property in South Sacramento that is planned to have a variety of uses, including affordable housing, city leaders announced Friday.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg and City Councilmember Mai Vang came together for the official announcement, saying the underdeveloped 102-acre property at 3100 Meadowview Road was bought from the federal government. The mayor added that Vang brought the idea to him for the city to acquire the federal surplus land on the southern portion of the Sacramento Job Corps Center Site.
Other planned uses for the site include homelessness services and a community park.
“We went back and forth for over a month, and in the end, we won the bid,” Steinberg said. “For $12.3 million, the city of Sacramento now owns this formerly federally-owned land that now enables us to do great things in our city.”
Vang, who represents South Sacramento’s District 8, said she’ll work with her community in the upcoming months on a vision for the property.
“For far too long, South Sacramento has historically been underinvested and have been denied economic opportunities,” Vang said. “I had the opportunity to work closely with our city manager, our staff and the mayor to secure this property to ensure South Sacramento truly gets its fair share of equitable investments.”
“I’m excited we have this unique opportunity to build more affordable and permanent housing, and have access to land for the community, to co-create with the community and to dream big about what we envision for South Sacramento,” the councilmember continued. “Whether that’s more access land for urban gardens, whether that’s a youth sports complex, more affordable housing. I want the community to dream big because I want to co-create with them.”
According to a press release, the land was previously declared excess property by the U.S. Department of Labor and was put up for sale last year. After winning the bidding process, Steinberg said the $12.3 million will come from a combination of the city’s funds, which is still being worked out.
“We do have the resources to invest the right way and that’s exactly where we’re doing here,” Steinberg said.
City officials currently envision using a portion of the land as a Safe Parking site for people living in their cars. People can safely park and receive services that are similar to the Safe Parking site the city operates on South Front Street, south of downtown.
Before any development happens, the city has to vet possible land uses, according to the release. The next step will be establishing infrastructure, including water, sewage and power.
In November, Steinberg introduced a right to housing and obligation proposal, the first of its kind in the nation.
According to the ordinance, unhoused people will be obligated to accept the offer for shelter, clearing the way for the city to begin removing encampments.
The proposal passed and won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2023. The proposal says the city of Sacramento must have its 20 new sites for shelters, tiny homes and safe ground tent encampments open by January 2023.
Steinberg’s homeless plan has drawn criticism from the public and business owners. In September, the city of Sacramento and Mayor Steinberg were handed a lawsuit filed by a group called Coalition for Compassion. According to the lawsuit, shelters planned for the unhoused will be located too close to freeways and overpassses, presenting traffic dangers and potential health risks from exposure to exhaust fumes.
The lawsuit highlights the proposed areas along 18th and 26th streets, which see upward of 246,000 vehicles per day. Coalition for Compassion claims Steinberg’s homeless plan is “dangerous” and “rushed” in its proposal.
Steinberg recently discussed his plan to house Sacramento’s homeless in an interview on Inside California Politics.
“It is imperative to actually build more housing and shelter for people,” Steinberg said in the interview.