Davis Council Considers Yolo County CalWORKS Lease at Pacifico Affordable Housing Property

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – For several years now, neighbors have complained about nuisance at the Pacifico site and the city council has taken on various approaches to repurpose the current facilities.

In July of 2021, city staff brought forward a proposal from Yolo County to lease the two unoccupied buildings for use by the county’s CalWORKS program, which works to stabilize and house families without permanent shelter.

At the time, the council directed city staff to work with the county, to craft a lease, receive input from the Social Services Commission on the concept, and share information with the neighbors and residents of Pacifico.

The city would receive roughly $21,579 per month from the lease which would offset operational costs for the city to manage and maintain the entire property.  The city will also need to pay for costs to remediate the unoccupied buildings and return those to habitable space.

According to the staff report, formal bids have not yet been secured for this work but staff says it “will be looking to use non-general fund funding streams to pay for rehabilitation.

“If Council approves the lease with the County, staff will secure contractors to complete remediation work and return to Council for any funding authorization necessary,” city staff wrote.

On June 7, 2022, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors discussed the proposed CalWORKs lease of Pacifico and voted unanimously to forward the request to the Davis City Council for consideration.

Yolo County receives funding from the State of California to assist homeless families with children under age of 18, staff notes.

According to them, “The funding can be used to provide shelter and other services that the families might need to stabilize and eventually secure permanent housing.”

“The end goal is for families to find permanent housing,” staff writes.

The county is proposing to use two of the Pacifico buildings to house families who are CalWORKs Housing Support Program participants.

CalWORKs utilizes a Housing First model which prioritizes assessment and referral/placement to appropriate housing as soon as possible. It provides supportive services as needed, such as recreational and social activities, employment programs, and civil, legal and educational activities.

The program would utilize the current layout of Pacifico to house up to 38 families, focusing on smaller families with household sizes of three or less.

The city would provide exclusive use of Buildings A and B, as well as adjacent exterior space to Yolo County for the purposes of siting a CalWORKs program to house families who are designated Yolo County CalWORKs participants

Buildings C and D, however, would continue to be leased to income-qualified people in accordance with the current affordable housing covenant on the property and the city’s affordable housing program.

Staff notes, “Residents of the Buildings C and D will not have access to the buildings or exterior area leased by the County, unless they are guests of residents in County-leased areas. The non-CalWorks residents of Pacifico are not eligible for services or events provided for CalWorks participants, unless specifically invited to participate.”

The city then hopes to be able to renovate and restore the non-leased portions of the property.

Staff notes, “The Project involves approval of a lease between the City and County of Yolo to facilitate reuse of two City-owned buildings at the “Pacifico” property, located at 1752 Drew Circle in Davis, for the CalWorks Housing Support Program (“Program”). The Program will provide housing and support services to families at risk of homelessness and will involve modifications and renovations to the facilities to provide for that purpose.”

This project is exempt from CEQA.

The proposal remains opposed by at least some of the neighbors.

In a letter dated June 7 from Tracy DeWit of Oakshade West Neighborhood Association, she requested that the Board of Supervisors “consider holding off on the vote to approve the CalWorks lease proposal” and “do not support any repurposing or renovation of existing facilities, until all the facts are gathered before the Board of Supervisors and City and Council and the community.”

They further wrote urging that the county and city “should reject the CalWorks proposal and affirmatively consider moving the current residents to safer living conditions and find the best use for 1752 Drew Circle.”

They added, “The CalWorks proposal may have some merit when it comes to addressing the homeless problem, but a project of this size has never been done before and they don’t consider the legitimate 10 years of concerns of the neighborhood brought on by 10 years of experience, that have already deemed this property a poor location for housing those experiencing homelessness and our city’s inability to care for our most vulnerable or ability to manage such a facility.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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