Questions re Statesman PUD and funding for homelessness

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Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

Questions re Statesman PUD and funding for homelessness

Post by Jose Chito Vela »

Colleagues,

I appreciate the conversation at today’s work session and look forward to discussing this further on Thursday. In the meantime, I have the following questions for our Housing and Planning Department and the Homeless Strategy Office that I wanted to share with you:

1. Approximately how much money could the City gain if we leveraged the PUD agreement to request the cash value of the on-site subsidized housing?

2. How quickly could those additional funds be put to use to help our homeless neighbors after the PUD agreement is finalized? What are the biggest barriers to using these funds quickly?

3. In what ways could those funds be used? How many people could be housed, and for how long? Given that the City already has relationships with hotel owners, would this money be sufficient to lease and operate one or more hotels until permanent housing is available?

4. Currently, the HEAL initiative has a goal of housing 200 people, a small fraction of the number of people who need our help. How much money would be needed to house the actual homeless population of Austin?

5. Roughly what proportion of camp closures does the City conduct without providing housing through the HEAL initiative?

6. When a camp is closed without housing support, where do the residents go? How does this displacement affect social services and outreach?

7. Do we have sufficient funding to house all the people displaced by the City’s camp closures this year?

8. When will the permanent supportive housing funded through ARPA funds begin to become available? How many units will be available and on what timetable?

Housing our neighbors is one of my top priorities and I look forward to working with everyone to make additional housing options available in the immediate future. The Statesman PUD may be one of our only opportunities to generate enough funds to make an immediate and meaningful impact on homelessness in Austin.

Chito Vela