Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 9, 2018

Title V for Victory

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

And so it begins.  Because every project in Alameda — and I supposed, actually, anywhere — requires someone, somewhere to be anti-it; the Medical Respite and Wellness Center planned for Crab Cove has its opposition group now in place.  Vaguely titled “Friends of Crab Cove,” not be confused with the “Friends of Crown Beach” who rallied together to oppose a housing project, the “Friends of Crab Cove” would like you to know that they’re opposing the Medical Respite and Wellness Center for the children.  Essentially this is ripe for setting up visuals of pink cheeked children up against scary homeless individuals and asking, us, the community to declare which is more important.  Pinked cheeked children or dirty homeless dudes.

Naturally the narrative is deliberately obfuscatory.  Here’s a snippet from the Mission Statement:

Now, the Federal Government has declared the connecting parcel of land consisting of the Federal Building Complex to be surplus federal property and as such, should be available for acquisition by the City of Alameda. In addition, Measure D, zoned the now surplus land to be used for open space.

Um, no.  Measure D did not zone the Federal Building Complex to open space.  This was the full text of Measure D.  Do you see anything about rezoning an Industrial Use with a Government Overlay section to Open Space?  Yeah, me neither.


FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE are extremely concerned that if the City of Alameda does not quickly act to acquire the now surplus federal land on McKay Avenue and use the land to expand Crab Cove Park, it will be extremely difficult to stop the Federal Government from pushing through their proposed homeless facility.  Although FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE are extremely sympathetic to the need to assist the growing homeless population, we do not believe that placing an extensive homeless facility next to a highly utilized public park is an appropriate or workable solution. FRIENDS OF CRAB COVE are exploring alternative possible locations for the facility.

Of course there’s the sympathetic pandering of saying that this groups supports assisting homeless individuals and families, just somewhere else.  I’m sure their “exploration” of alternate locations is going well and will include such unique proposals like: “somewhere, just not here” or “how about Alameda Point.”

Clearly whoever is the “Friends of Crab Cove” does not understand how federal disposal of surplus lands work.  It’s not really in the hands of the City Council or the City to do anything to stop this particular transfer.   It all goes back to a little law called “McKinney-Vento” which you’ve might have heard about in reference to schools and providing accommodations for homeless students.  But within McKinney-Vento is the powerful, but not often exercised Title V.  Here’s a terrific article from CityLab about Title V.  Highlights:

[A] 30-year-old federal law obligates the government to make disused federal properties available for sheltering the homeless wherever possible. Further, a bill passed by Congress in December 2016 enables local governments, housing nonprofits, and faith-based organizations to essentially bypass the veto of neighborhood associations and zoning commissions.

Title V of McKinney-Vento created a multi-step process for giving over excess federal property to state and local governments as well as nonprofit organizations, to be used for homeless services. First, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development canvasses landholding federal agencies on a quarterly basis for their unwanted properties. HUD screens federal properties that fall under four categories—unused, underused, excess, or surplus—for suitability to use for homeless services.

In general, though, the default finding is that an unneeded federal property is suitable for homeless services if an applicant can be found for it. And the federal government has to put suitable properties into the pipeline before they can do anything else with them.

“At the moment that the government would attempt to sell [a property] or attempt to convey it”—to a school district, for example, or a public park—“it has to first, under Title V, be offered, if it’s suitable, to eligible applicants to be used for homeless services or housing,” Bauman says.

The TL;dr: the homeless accommodation has first dibs.  The Friends of Crab Cove can’t do a damn thing to tank this unless the Medical Respite and Wellness Center can’t come up with the funds to actually make the transformation of the property from a government office to the facility that they want it to be.  But remember the largest cost, the purchase of the land, is nonexistent because the land will be transferred for free as long as it’s used for purposes of assisting homeless individuals and families.


  1. Summary: Lauren says the feds can do anything they want in your neighborhood and you can’t do anything about it (exception only for ignoring immigration and marijuana laws).

    Comment by Nowyouknow — April 9, 2018 @ 6:42 am

    • I guess you can stand in front of the building and heckle homeless individuals and users of the space once open. But that’s not a great look is it?

      But you do you.

      Comment by Lauren Do — April 9, 2018 @ 7:22 am

  2. We have a ton of open space. We don’t have adequate homeless facilities. Unless this group provides suitable alternatives it will be just another attempt for privileged folks to maintain their standard of living at the expense of everyone else.

    Comment by Angela — April 9, 2018 @ 6:55 am

  3. We don’t need no stinking respite center near Webster St. Give it to the kids.

    Comment by Jack — April 9, 2018 @ 7:27 am

    • The Alameda I know is one where folks take care of each other. The attitude that you’ve just shared does not do our city justice. There are actually homeless children too. I’m pretty sure that the children of Alameda will be just fine with Crab Cove as it is now.

      Comment by Angela — April 9, 2018 @ 7:57 am

      • Don’t worry, Title V of the Act protects homeless shelters from NIMBY opposition so you do-gooders with all the empty space between your ears need not worry about old Alamedans getting in the way of your making Alameda shitty again.

        Comment by Jack — April 9, 2018 @ 8:45 am

        • Your attitude is the shittiest thing about Alameda by far.

          Comment by Angela — April 9, 2018 @ 9:03 am

        • Jeez Jack, you’re not yourself today. Maybe you should have a Snickers. Oh wait, spouting off stupid angry stuff at the big bad libruls is totally you. Never mind. Keep on MAGAing there, homeslice!

          Comment by Rod — April 9, 2018 @ 9:22 am

        • And you Rod need to go chew on your own meme.

          Comment by Jack — April 9, 2018 @ 6:18 pm

        • Oh Jacky boy, everyone knows memes aren’t chewable. You’ll break your teeth right off. But at least then you’d look more the part…

          Comment by Rod — April 10, 2018 @ 6:51 am

  4. When I first heard of this project, I knew that the “I’m agin’ it” forces would soon be must eff ing, using fear as their weapon of choice. It is their usual tactic. Usually it’s fear of traffic, fear of “changes in our Island way of life”, and so on. This time it’s fear of the poor and of people in need of assistance. Why does this lovely community not hold its fire, ask questions of the project group, and take time to form reasoned opinions, based on facts, not fear and innuendo? Have they been watching too much Faux News?

    Comment by Kate Quick — April 9, 2018 @ 8:47 am

    • Because this is not a lovely community. It’s a bunch of cliques with opposing views doing battle with each other. And it has always been that way. Don’t give me that “where folks take care of each other” crap.
      Where else are they gonna go? A few months ago, some guy just crawled under the camellia bush in my front yard, snuggled up against my house, and went to sleep. At 5 PM. On Grand Street. In the “Bronze” Coast.

      Comment by vigi — April 9, 2018 @ 9:14 am

      • Vigi, just to confirm, you are in support of this facility that will provide services, support and shelter to the poor guy that you graciously allowed to sleep under your flower bush at your home on the “Bronze” Coast, correct? How could you not be?

        Comment by dya — April 9, 2018 @ 10:30 am

        • How can she not be? Are you familiar with her usual comments here?

          Comment by Rod — April 9, 2018 @ 10:52 am

        • Yes, I am in support of it. Why wouldn’t I be? BTW, I didn’t even know the guy was there until my neighbors started calling me, asking me about him. He wouldn’t wake up when I shouted at him, so I had to call the police to rouse him. It was painful to see him led off in handcuffs.If there was a place to send him, maybe APD could have foregone the cuffs.

          Comment by vigi — April 9, 2018 @ 2:13 pm

  5. If I were to irresponsibly speculate, I would imagine the HOA for the Crown Drive (Harbor?) condo complex would be the most likely to put together this website in a short time. But I don’t like to speculate irresponsibly, so I will refrain and continue to wonder who is behind it.

    Comment by BMac — April 9, 2018 @ 9:46 am

    • I’d guess those fine “progressives” of the ACT have their filthy little fingers in this pie as well.

      Comment by Rod — April 9, 2018 @ 10:53 am

  6. I doubt there is much if any opposition to Alameda assisting homeless Alamedans. But let’s be real, here folks:

    Anyone who has lived in the Bay Area for more than half an hour has seen San Francisco’s Homeless Industrial Complex in action and knows that its only success has been the net importation of homeless people, some number of whom pee, poop and shoot up in plain view on the street. Ms. Quick’s advice to observe before judging is the proper course to take, but one should not be surprised by resistance to the idea. There are many large examples of its failure right before our eyes.

    Comment by dave — April 9, 2018 @ 10:57 am

    • One word. Tenderloin

      Comment by Keith — April 9, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

  7. The homeless problem throughout California is going to get much worse until either employment starts shrinking in the SF Bay area or we have built enough housing for all income groups. Silicon valley employers are telling us that our current housing construction rates will eventually result in employment growth in the SF Bay area trailing the rest of the country. And we still won’t be able to house the homeless. The most promising solution on the scale-needed is hundreds of thousands of housing units owned or subsidized by local, state and federal governments, as the Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center would be.

    Comment by 2wheelsmith — April 9, 2018 @ 12:09 pm

  8. What ever happened to the EBRPD’s plans to purchase the property to expand their maintenance center?

    Comment by BarbaraK — April 9, 2018 @ 12:14 pm

  9. The Tenderloin area is paved with good intentions.

    Comment by Keith — April 9, 2018 @ 12:55 pm

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