Austin Employs Team to Help Residents Avoid Displacement

The city’s new Displacement Prevention Navigators will conduct outreach and assist with finding resources to help cost-burdened residents at risk of losing their housing stay in their homes.

1 minute read

May 3, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Texas State Capital

f11photo / Shutterstock

As part of the city’s effort to slow its rapidly growing housing affordability crisis, Austin will hire a team of “displacement prevention navigators” to assist residents with finding housing assistance resources and navigating the system, which can often be overwhelming for renters or homeowners threatened with losing their homes. 

Molly Bolan describes the program in Route Fifty. “With $360,000 in funding for its first year, the program will hire navigators who will work 10 to 15 hours a week for a year and earn $25 per hour.”

The program will begin in two neighborhoods with high rates of cost-burdened households that are experiencing redevelopment and a rise in property values. “Outreach will likely take many forms, including mailers and door-hangers informing residents the program exists, sending navigators out to go door to door to connect with residents, and attending community events, according to program manager Cara Bertron.”

Bertron acknowledges the program will play a small role in solving the housing crisis, and should be just one piece of a larger effort to build and maintain more affordable housing as the city’s population and property values grow.

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