After years of good conditions, homeless nonprofit sues Anaheim for denial of permits – Orange County Register

After Anaheim officials rejected a plan to provide transitional housing for 16 homeless women with mental health issues, the nonprofit Grandma’s House of Hope filed a lawsuit challenging the denial. of the city for the proposed new facility in the Colonial district.

The lawsuit asks the court to deny Anaheim a permit for the transitional housing and allow it to stay open and house 21 women. No hearing for the case has been scheduled.

Since founder Je’net Krietner – who was homeless in the 1990s – started Grandma’s House of Hope nearly two decades ago, it has grown into 10 other properties around Anaheim.

Krietner planned to turn an eight-bedroom two-story home in 600 NW into the home of more than a dozen homeless women with mental health issues; Most will be over 40 years old and recovering from injuries, according to the lawsuit.

After years of working well with city officials, Kreitner said it was a shock that the Planning Commission and City Council rejected her latest proposal.

A staff report to the planning commissioners recommended project approval, which she had never been rejected before, and at board and planning meetings, “All they could say good things about what we do,” she said.

But homeowners from the surrounding area appeared at a community forum and public hearings about the project to urge the city to decline. They argued that the neighborhood, one of the oldest in Anaheim, was “saturated” with commercial uses, including daycares, rental housing and short-term rental property.

In a statement, city spokeswoman Erin Ryan said of the lawsuit, “We are disappointed by this and find it unnecessary.

“We are proud of Anaheim’s work with Grandma’s House of Hope which has provided a number of successful locations across our city. This is a delicate balancing act between the concerns of residents and the goal of providing safe spaces for those overcoming challenges,” Ryan said. “We remain open to working with Grandma’s House on locations in our city that work for everyone.”

Kreitner said she’s not giving up on the Colonial district location because it’s an ideal location, and she believes her transitional home will be better for the neighborhood than the alternatives.

To assuage residents’ concerns, she reduced the number of occupants from 21 to 16 (a successful graduate of Grandma’s House of Hope will oversee the house overnight). No alcohol or drugs, women will be under curfew and they will stop using the hotel’s swimming pool and sports ground at 9pm

“I wouldn’t have fought so hard if I hadn’t known that this was the absolute best-case scenario for these neighbors,” Kreitner said. “If it weren’t for us, it would be an Airbnb,” where vacationers would party.

She also pointed to a letter that state state officials sent to Anaheim last May warning that the city’s rules for community care homes and supportive housing could be discriminatory. disability treatment, as they include restrictions that do not apply to other types of housing.

In December, the state issued a notice to the city that the policies officials used to reject the Grandma’s House of Hope project violated state law. Last month, the city responded, saying that officials believe Anaheim’s policies are consistent with state law and that the state’s approval of its long-term housing strategy in 2013 supports this assertion.

Kreitner said her lawsuit revolves around the fact that “transitional housing has a right to be in this neighborhood.” In the meantime, she opened homes in the Colonial district to six women (by state law, cities must allow group homes for up to six people without any special permits) and hope to expand later.

She hopes city leaders will reconsider their stance, she said, but “we don’t have any indication that they will, and here’s why it’s not.” go to a lawsuit.” After years of good conditions, homeless nonprofit sues Anaheim for denial of permits – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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