The Housing and Planning Committee on Monday supported the primary purpose of Austin’s current homelessness summit – rehousing 3,000 folks experiencing homelessness inside three years.
The committee voted unanimously to advocate Metropolis Council approve a resolution turning the purpose, created by neighborhood teams attending the summit, into official metropolis coverage. Council will vote on the decision Might 20.
The push for extra housing comes simply two days after voters authorized Proposition B, which reinstates felony penalties for actions associated to homelessness comparable to tenting, sleeping and panhandling in downtown, a part of East Austin, West Campus and UT. The legal guidelines will go into impact on Might 11.
Council members say the town’s present housing targets, expressed within the Strategic Housing Blueprint, aren’t sufficient. “For a lot too lengthy, we’ve got had our targets far too low for housing folks experiencing homelessness,” Council Member Greg Casar stated.
A key a part of the three-year plan entails creating 1,000 everlasting supportive properties – a goal Homeless Technique Officer Dianna Gray known as “bold.”
This 12 months, round 165 everlasting supportive models are in manufacturing. The decision goals to seek out funds for no less than 350 extra models per 12 months starting in 2022 to succeed in the 1,000-unit purpose. Whereas a few of the properties could possibly be newly constructed, together with by the Community First Village expansion, many are prone to come from the town’s resort buy and renovation technique.
The decision additionally goals to carry 2,300 rental models to the marketplace for folks experiencing homelessness. Town hopes the elevated housing inventory will create an “equilibrium” to assist the town discover housing inside 30 days for anybody who’s experiencing homelessness.
Beneath is a extra detailed timeline:
To get to 1,000 models, Gray stated the town wants to hurry issues up, regardless of making progress this 12 months. “We all know we have to speed up our growth manufacturing,” she stated.
Whether or not housing manufacturing retains up with the targets largely is determined by securing funding.
The three-year funds set on the summit totals $515 million. Out of that, capital tasks – largely for everlasting supportive housing – take up $275 million, with $150 million both dedicated or anticipated. That leaves a $125 million funding hole.
Potential funding sources embody President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, non-public donations or a brand new native bond election, amongst others.
“I do hope that everybody prepared, ready and prepared to accomplice with us will step as much as affirm that dedication,” Council Member Paige Ellis stated. “Now we have a variety of work to do.”
Casar stated he has seen broad assist for locating housing for folks experiencing homelessness – regardless of how Austinites voted on Prop B. “What I discovered in nearly each single dialog (about Prop B),” Casar stated, “particularly while you had a while to speak, was that the overwhelming majority of persons are not divided on the problem of pulling of us out of tents and into housing.”
Council additionally plans to debate extra quick options this week, comparable to organising designated campsites.
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