Williamson County wants a 180-day break in Austin’s homeless hotel plan
The aim is to convince the city to conduct an economic impact study, similar to what the city is asking private developers to do.
Austin, Texas – – The Candlewood Suites is located in Williamson County, northwest Austin. The city wants to buy it and turn the property into a homeless shelter and resource center.
On Tuesday, members of the Williamson County Commissioners Court formally asked the city to wait 180 days. That’s because they found out about this project a few days ago.
The request to apply the brakes was made by Commissioner Cynthia Long. “I hope the city of Austin hears what we said and it is a plea to work with your neighbors,” said Cynthia Long, Williamson County Commissioner for District 2
Residential and business owners near the hotel say they were also seen blindly from the city map. “I think it would be important for the public to get input to influence their neighborhoods,” said a woman who lives near the hotel.
The community is responding to the council’s plan to buy hotels for the homeless
People in the area say they have no idea this is a work in progress.
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Those who attended Tuesday’s meeting asked district officials to step in and help. “As a Williamson County judge, I am deeply disappointed that someone did not communicate with this court prior to the decisions being made,” said Williamson County judge Bill Gravell.
The unanimous vote on an official request for a 180-day break was hailed as a big step – but not a victory.
“Yes, after all, it should have been the City of Austin’s job to listen to its constituents, but apparently at least I’m so grateful that Williamson County is out here for us,” said Rupal Chaudhari, who works next to Candlewood Suites
The aim is to convince the city to conduct a study on the economic impact. Similar to what the city demands of private developers. Residents believe the study will show property values will collapse and businesses will close.
Dozens are protesting against buying a hotel for the homeless
Dozens gathered to protest the proposed purchase. Community members expressed themselves audibly with chants from
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“I think Freda has about 50 employees, we have about 20 at one hotel, and the next hotel is going to be about 30, so hundreds of jobs are affected right there,” said Sanjay Chaudhari, general manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites next door Candle wood.
Williamson County’s officials asked why the city chose a location in northwest Austin for their homeless hotel idea after a similar plan for a South Austin location failed last year. They also want to learn more about how the city will address traffic issues, safety, and the types of social programs on offer. and where the funding comes from.
“Actually, it doesn’t weigh on the proposal at all because, frankly, I don’t know enough about the proposal to be for or against it. I just ask and I think the court of commissioners is asking to work with the county to work. ” in the school district to speak to the surrounding neighbors, “Long said.
If the city ignores the county’s request, the commissioners have sent another message. You are ready to look at all of the options to address your concerns.