Sacramento City Council approves ‘Safe Ground’ ordinance to allow for temporary encampments

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — This week, the Sacramento City Council approved an emergency “Safe Ground” ordinance that will allow the city to quickly issue permits for small, temporary encampments to open up at vacant lots.

These encampments could be located on sites such as church property or on certain sites in commercial or industrial zones.

The homelessness crisis in Sacramento is growing and with no end in sight.

“We can never give up on anyone,” Steinberg said.

Wednesday, Steinberg again reiterated lack of affordable housing and homelessness are the city’s main issues.

“No one is expecting us, that I believe, take care of the problem overnight. They want it to be better,” he said.

He added the days of inaction are over.

“Let’s begin a much more aggressive implementation time schedule,” the mayor said.

Steinberg told FOX40 next week he will direct the city to secure 63 tiny homes in the next 50 days.

“The mayor and the City Council really responded,” said Bob Erlenbusch, with the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness.

Erlenbusch said he is pleased leaders have a sense of urgency but is worried how the city will fund medical care, food and other services people need to thrive.

“If the city doesn’t cover it, you are going to have empty homes,” he said.

Not everyone on the council was on board with the mayor’s plan.

Councilman Sean Loloee voted against the plan because he believes his North Sacramento district would have to house even more of the homeless population.

“We are on the top of the list as far as available sites and I am a little bit concerned,” Loloee said. “I need a little bit more information.”

But Mayor Steinberg said all districts should take on the burden and not just one.

“It’s not going to be me as mayor or the city manager saying these are the sites,” he said. “I want the community, I want the council members to lead.”

Steinberg said down the road, there will be a series of public hearings where districts will come forward with potential sites where the tiny homes can go.

Next week, the mayor will ask the city to secure those tiny homes in the next 50 days.

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