Inspiration + Research for Interim Sleep & Service Hubs
Interim Sleep and Service Hubs are a cost-effective, well-researched, and humane model to address homeless encampments in San Francisco that will measurably reduce the pain points of both unhoused residents, surrounding neighbors and local businesses, and City services.
This is what a city can do to accommodate interim sleep and service hubs:
- Change local ordinances
- Grant temporary use permits
- Issue consent decrees
- Create new zoning land use categories
- Identify and lease public land for temporary use
Seattle City Ordinance No. 124747 authorized “transitional encampments” for homeless persons as a permitted “interim” use on City-owned property, private property, and educational Major Institutions according to the standards in Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Section 23.42.056. Section 23.42.056.A requires the Directors of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and the Human Services Department (HSD) to adopt a joint rule establishing requirements for community outreach, encampment operations standards, and coordination with the permit process for new transitional encampments on any selected site meeting the requirements of the regulation.
The law, authored by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, as Assembly Bill 2176 and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 27, goes into effect in January and sunsets in five years. It allows the city to temporarily suspend state building, safety and health codes for the purpose of building “unconventional” housing structures — everything from wood-framed sheds to tiny homes. The city will adopt its own regulations, the law says, based on some minimum standards.
“It was huge for the governor to sign this because it’s outside-the-box and no one else has done it,” Campos said. “Other big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles will be looking at what we do here. We had to do something because what we were doing wasn’t working.”