The Common Council is slated to discuss purchasing two properties, located at 2002 Zeier Rd. and 1902 Bartillon Dr., for the construction of two separate housing facilities for homeless residents at its upcoming Tuesday meeting.
If both proposals are approved, the Zeier Rd. location would provide temporary housing to an undisclosed number of homeless men, and the Bartillon Dr. location will provide both short and long-term options for people seeking housing.
The two properties, both located on Madison’s east side, would cost $2.6 million and $855,000 for the properties located on Zeier Rd. and Bartillon Dr., respectively. The proposal to purchase the buildings follows the Common Council’s failure to approve plans for a different permanent homeless shelter this past May.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has voiced her disappointment with the Common Council’s inaction in providing aid to Madison’s homeless population, particularly in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I find it remarkable that after the year we have had, and the extraordinary lengths the city has gone through to protect the most vulnerable, that some members of the Common Council chose not to take the final, critical step to establish a safe, secure, purpose-built shelter,” Rhodes-Conway said in May.
The council has since approved the relocation of a homeless encampment in Reindahl Park in August to temporary shelters located at 3202 Dairy Dr.; however, the shelter will not be fully constructed until mid-late October and is only expected to situate 30 residents according to community development director Jim O’Keefe.
“We believe that this site can be ready for use by mid to late-October,” O’Keefe said in an interview with the Cap Times.