The Northern California city is offering to pay 28 homeless people $3,000 each to leave a former landfill area that is set to be transformed into a park, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
According to the settlement by Albany city officials, homeless people have to leave the area by Friday with any pets and possessions. They must promise to stay away from the area for at least a year, according to the Chronicle.
While 28 people who signed the settlement will receive $3,000 each, there are 25 additional homeless people who will not be paid and will also have to leave. Some of the residents had lived in the area for 15 years or more, according to the East Bay Express.
The settlement, which was negotiated by an advocacy group on behalf of the homeless, brings an end to a long-standing legal dispute between them and the city, which seeks to expand a park into the 31-acre area known as the Bulb.
From the Chronicle:
Osha Neumann, an attorney with the East Bay Community Law Center who helped represent the Bulb residents, said the mood at the Bulb was bittersweet.
"Overall, there's a sense of loss," he said. "I think it's great they're getting some money, but it's lousy that Albany spent all this money on this issue when they could have been helping these people."
"We feel the settlement establishes a framework for the cooperative relocation of individuals at the Albany Bulb," Alameda City Attorney Craig Labadie told CBS-5.
According to the settlement, the $3,000 payments are "intended, though not required, to be utilized for temporary housing and relocation assistance — e.g., moving or replacing personal property, paying for temporary occupancy in a motel or single-room occupancy hotel, paying a portion of rental expenses for longer-term housing, furnishing an apartment, etc."
Paying homeless people to leave an area is rarely this direct. In the past, New York City and Hawaii have given homeless people one-way bus, plane, or train tickets provided they have a relative or friend prepared to take them in.
San Jose has considered a plan to put up homeless people in hotels while they look for jobs and get job training.
And in an interesting twist, some New York City landlords have evicted paying tenants to make room for homeless shelters.
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).