Austin Selects Two Potential Sites for Sanctioned Encampments

The city plans to install temporary housing and facilities as part of its efforts to reduce homelessness and help people move into permanent housing.

July 29, 2021, 12:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Homeless Encampment

Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock

The city of Austin has chosen two potential sites for temporary encampments as "part of implementing the mandates of a May City Council resolution that specifies steps and deadlines for its Housing-Focused Homeless Encampment Assistance Link initiative," such as calling for the City Manager to "identify publicly-owned land or land within the city limits owned by other intergovernmental entities or willing community partners that could accommodate tiny home structures to serve as temporary housing" and present a budget for implementation.

 As Cindy Widner writes, "the sites would need to be rezoned prior to the installation of temporary, prefab microshelters, which—along with fencing and round-the-clock security—the city apparently plans to provide." The city-owned locations were chosen based on their proximity to Capital Metro routes, the availability of utilities, and other factors. "According to a memo from Dianna Grey, the city's homeless strategy officer, and Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley, 'Both properties are owned by the City of Austin, are being held for future creation of affordable housing, and could be used temporarily until that development takes place.'"

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