AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council approved awarding 14 Central Texas nonprofits with funding Thursday to support Project Connect’s anti-displacement efforts. Project Connect is the city’s multi-billion-dollar transportation system upgrade in the works, with $300 million of the project’s total budget allocated to anti-displacement initiatives.
The Austin City Council earmarked $65 million in anti-displacement funding in its fiscal year 2020-21 and FY 2021-22 budgets. That $65 million pool is broken down into $23 million for land acquisition for affordable housing; $21 million in rental housing and ownership housing development efforts; and $20 million for community-initiated solutions.
The $20 million for community-initiated solutions is the funding that will go toward the following 14 nonprofits in their anti-displacement initiatives:
- Goodwill Industries of Central Texas: $2 million
- Interfaith Action of Central Texas: $256,650
- Meals on Wheels Central Texas: $900,000
- Austin Voices for Education and Youth: $1,268,000
- Workers Defense Project – Building and Strengthening Tenant Action: $2 million
- Catholic Charities of Central Texas: $1,924,000
- Business & Community Lenders: $2 million
- El Buen Samaritano: $2 million
- Del Valle Community Coalition – Homeowner: $1.1 million
- Communities in School of Central Texas: $1.5 million
- Austin Cooperative Business Foundation Asociacion de Residentes: $516,206
- Life Anew Restorative Justice Inc.: $2 million
- Austin Tenants Council: $997,310
- Mama Sana Vibrant Woman: $1.5 million
The nonprofits selected were ranked based on several criteria, including:
- Balance between program priorities (expansion, home ownership preservation, rent tenant stabilization, etc.)
- Aligns with proposal of overall funding goal to address “transit-induced displacement pressures along Project Connect high-capacity lines)
- The numbers of households, people impacted or served by proposal
- Review of applications, assessments of organization’s ability to deliver on its initiatives within funding period
- Funding request (including ability to fund the program partially, if there are overall funding constraints)
Beginning in FY23, budget priorities for Project Connect’s anti-displacement funding will be established every three years. There will be community engagement initiatives to help get a pulse check on what investments and funding allocations should be prioritized, along with public feedback opportunities.