City unveils tiny homes to serve as transition for the unsheltered

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Jul. 7—After four years of planning and development, a "tiny homes" project that will temporarily house homeless individuals on their road to recovery finally opened four front doors this week.

The City of Lodi held a ribbon cutting for the Harmony Homes Project on the corner of Lodi Avenue and Washington Street Wednesday morning.

The project will provide four small, modular homes each totaling 500 square feet in size, complete with a kitchen and dining area, one bedroom and accompanying bathroom with a washer and dryer combination.

This is a significant accomplishment," Mayor Mark Chandler said. "It's taken four years to get to this point, and this is really going to help get our unsheltered off Lodi streets and into more permanent housing so they can re-enter society."

The units will house formerly homeless individuals who have been referred by local social service organizations. Residents selected for the homes will be required to pay rent and keep the units in livable conditions as they get back on their feet and seek permanent, long-term housing. The Housing Authority of San Joaquin County will be responsible for maintenance and landscaping.

Chandler said Sacramento Self-Help Housing has been contracted by the city to review potential tenants, and two are currently being vetted. Another two will be interviewed in the coming weeks, he said.

The project was funded by a $1.25 million Homeless Emergency Aid Program grant awarded to the city in 2018 and a subsequent $336,000 Permanent Local Housing Allocation grant awarded to the city in 2020.