AUSTIN WILL USE MONEY CUT FROM POLICE BUDGET TO BUY SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
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The Austin City Council voted today to purchase one hotel and turn it into 60 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. The vote to purchase a second hotel has been postponed to next week after a city council member asked for more time to gather feedback from her constituents.
Under the measure, the city will spend approximately $6.7 million from its Housing and Planning Department’s general obligation bonds to acquire one hotel and use some money from a recurring $6.5 million fund taken from the police department’s budget to provide services to the residents of the hotel. At full occupancy (which wouldn’t happen this year), services and operating costs for the hotel are expected to be about $1.6 million annually.
“In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests this summer, we made a significant cut to policing dollars and reinvested that in things like this,” said Council Member Gregorio Casar, who led the effort to cut police funding and sponsored an amendment last August that set aside $6.5 million in recurring funding to be used for permanent supportive housing and services. “That’s how we’re paying for this. That’s the only reason we’re able to do this.”
In August, the City Council voted to immediately cut over $20 million from the police department’s budget, with most of that money coming from cancelling cadet classes, reducing overtime spending, and eliminating contracts for things like license plate readers. Another almost $80 million will be taken from the police department’s budget by moving certain civilian functions out, like dispatch and the forensics lab—though that money will still be spent on those functions, just not within the department.
Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba
January 28, 2021 at 1:24 AM #398790
January 28, 2021 at 1:39 AM #398795GryneosParticipant
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police union gone ballistic yet? Because I expect the usual complaints and accusations that crime rates will rise.
Who are you? | What do you want? | Why are you here? | Where are you going? | Do you have anything worth living for? | Who do you serve and who do you trust?
January 28, 2021 at 3:51 AM #398858kellyParticipant
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and it is very expensive. This is not a leading effort by a progressive minded city government, this is what is happening across the country. So much good news being circulated, there’s barely time to lift the skirts and see what is actually underneath.
I expect a bunch of that funding will be utilized turning these rundown motels into prisons. I do hope I am wrong, but at least put a dollar per person amount on these expenditures, so we can see how expensive it is to get one individual out of hundreds (at the very least) under a roof. They are dragging feet and moving money more than anything. Feel free to price larger apartment complexes on the market and consider the difference between a motel room and an apartment when using the words “Home sweet home”
January 28, 2021 at 5:56 AM #398874
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