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Simplicity Village Re-Imagined

We want to let you know that CHAT has formally withdrawn our proposal for the Simplicity Village project and has cancelled the lease on the property, due to the lawsuit that was filed against the project. We are disappointed, but CHAT continues to work on housing formerly homeless people. CHAT has 150 people in its homes right now and we are still *deeply* committed to creating a tiny house village for seniors in Chico, as we believe it is an ideal solution for getting homeless seniors citizens into safe secure housing where they can be isolated from the pandemic if necessary. All donations for Simplicity Village will be held for a future tiny house village. We are looking at several possibilities for locations in Chico but would always welcome more leads.

The full press release from the board is below:

Chico Housing Action Team on Tuesday, March 17, withdrew our request to the City of Chico to be permitted to construct a "tiny house village", to be known as Simplicity Village, on property located on Notre Dame Avenue and Morrow Lane in Chico, and has disclaimed any entitlement arising out of the City’s Official Planning Director Interpretation approving that project. CHAT has also cancelled our lease on the Notre Dame property.

Simplicity Village was planned to house up to 46 seniors in a community of 33 “tiny homes” or sleeping cabins, surrounded by common facilities for cooking, laundry, showers, meeting space and ADA compliant restrooms. Over the past several years, hundreds of community members and organizations have generously contributed funds, services, and thousands of hours of time toward this goal. However, late last year, CHAT was named in a lawsuit filed against the City of Chico by a business owner who is a neighbor of the planned residential community. The lawsuit seeks to block the project on grounds that the City’s approval for it was legally invalid.

In order to avoid costly and burdensome litigation, we have decided after much deliberation to terminate our occupancy of the current Simplicity Village site and withdraw our request to develop Simplicity Village at that site. We have taken this step reluctantly but necessarily, in order to achieve a settlement and/or dismissal of the lawsuit so that CHAT can continue to focus all of our efforts into creating affordable housing opportunities for our most vulnerable homeless citizens. We remain fully committed to finding a suitable location, and building a tiny house village, or other similar affordable housing project as soon as possible. Our community, and especially our homeless seniors, families, and those who are sick and disabled, cannot wait any longer.

We want to express deep gratitude to all of our supporters who are making it possible to continue forward with this vision. We're assuring our supporters that their donations toward Simplicity Village will be used to create creative and affordable housing opportunities, even if we don’t yet know exactly what that will look like. We also very much appreciates the City's efforts to work with CHAT to address this vital need for low income housing opportunities, which of course is more urgent than ever, in light of our current worldwide health crisis.

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