Scottsdale City Council approves contract to continue housing program | #citycouncil

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The Scottsdale City Council discussed multiple items at their Tuesday meeting focusing on housing for those experiencing homelessness and also affordable housing.

One of the programs the council voted on was a bridge housing program, almost everyone who spoke during public comment was in support of continuing the program.

“What I’m here to say if you are doing the right thing,” said one community member.

“It’s really quite simple, continue and already successful program,” said another Scottsdale resident.

Greg Bestgen, the Scottsdale Human Services Director, gave a presentation to the council on the program.

“Bridge housing assists families and seniors by providing housing and case management with the goal of returning the clients to the most independent living situation possible within 120 days,” said Bestgen.

But he told the council most are able to find housing within 60 days.

The program helps Scottsdale residents experiencing homelessness by providing a temporary place to stay. While using grant money to pay for 10 rooms for 12 months at the Independence 47 hotel near Pima and Indian Bend Roads.

Other cities like Mesa told ABC15 they have found success with a similar program called “Off the Streets”.

The Scottsdale City Council considered a new contract with the hotel. ABC15 previously covered a town hall held by State Representative Matt Gress who spoke out against the hotel program.

“I will not allow the disastrous policies of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and even Phoenix to seep into our community,” said Rep. Gress at that town hall.

The council made sure to set the record straight at Tuesday’s meeting.

“The whole thing was mischaracterized,” said Councilwoman Betty Janik.

“To put it mildly there was a confusion resulting from that hearing,” said Councilmember Tom Durham.

Councilman Durham asked if anyone from the Phoenix homeless encampment known as ‘The Zone’, and Bestgen told the council no.

Even the manager of the hotel was at the meeting to speak out in support.

“I say for a fact that we have not any issues with anyone in this program, and I have not had to call the police on any of these clients,” said the hotel manager.

Six people did write in urging the council to vote no.

One council member did want to change the language of the contract to clarify that no one from the “The Zone’, migrants, or other non-Scottsdale residents would be a part of the program.

“It is not the hotel’s job to decide who is in the hotel it’s the city’s job,” said Councilwoman Solange Whitehead.

However, the council ultimately approved the original contract without the addition of six to one.

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