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Pilot program provides limited overnight parking space for RV dwellers

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The city of East Palo Alto has launched a program to provide people living in recreational vehicles with space to park overnight along with restrooms, showers and laundry services in response to the Bay Area’s housing crisis.

According to the city manager’s office, the increase of RVs in the city due to a lack of affordable housing options presented health and safety concerns that prompted the design of the pilot program.

The site, located at 1798 Bay Road, will accommodate 16 RVs throughout the night. The RVs are then asked to vacate during the day. Participants will be required to engage with social workers sent by the nonprofit Project WeHOPE to assist them in their search for housing. Only RVs verified to have been in the city as of Jan. 15 were permitted to apply to the program because the city “did not want to create a regional attraction for RVs,” city officials said.

There were 48 applicants. A waiting list remains active and RVs on the list are permitted to park on the streets for a while until they are admitted into the program.

A ceremony is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday to mark the opening of the site. Mayor Lisa Gauthier and other city officials and community members are expected to attend.

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