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San Jose City Council approves new seat on housing commission

San Jose's City Hall
Eugene Zelenko
Flickr / Creative Commons
San Jose's City Hall

The 13-member Housing and Community Development Commission helps advise policymakers on housing-related matters. The newly created seat will be filled by someone who has lived experience with homelessness in the past three years. It comes with a $200 stipend per meeting.

Homeless advocates, along with several council members, emphasized the commissioner should be local to San Jose. They are also hoping to find a woman, since rape and trafficking are a growing challenge facing local unhoused populations that disproportionately impacts women.

Local homeless advocate Shauna Cartwright said that the commission should ideally add two new members – one man and a woman.

Cartwright said there’s a disparity between the experiences of homeless men and women and hoped the new seat would be filled by a woman.

Councilmember Raul Peralez asked city officials to add a seat for a second person with relevant lived experience – and to look at which other commissions might benefit from a similar position.