AUSTIN (KXAN)A northwest Austin hotel will soon be used as permanent housing for the homeless.

The Pecan Gardens hotel conversion project is expected to provide 78 permanent housing units and supportive services for individuals with disabilities over the age of 55.

On Thursday, Austin City Council voted to negotiate a $3.9 million contract with Family Eldercare to fund renovations at the former Candlewood Suites hotel.

Family Eldercare Director of Financial and Housing Stability Shontell Gauthier was thrilled to finally get the green light from the City of Austin.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to provide permanent housing and community for 78 older adults transitioning out of homelessness,” she said.

This one-year contract will fund a full redesign of the property.

It’ll convert hotel rooms into handicap-accessible apartments along with adding outdoor landscaping.

“The $3.9 million budget will allow us to rehab the units, making them more accessible for older adults,” Gauthier said.

Since the city purchased the hotel last year, the building had sat empty awaiting renovations.

According to District 6 City Councilwoman Mackenzie Kelly, this presented problems when it came to crime on the property.

“There was a break-in and theft of property at the hotel that the city had purchased,” she said.

To avoid crime at all costs, Kelly has ensured that they’ll be on-sight security throughout the entire renovation process.

“We need to make sure that there’s a visible presence on the property,” she said. “To ensure that our investment in the city is well taken care of.”

Yet for Family Eldercare, this contract marks a major milestone in the overall effort aimed at aiding older adults.

“It’s going to allow us to begin the next steps,” Gauthier concluded. “We’re hoping that this’ll take between four and seven months to complete the project.”

Before the remodel can officially begin, Austin City Council must still complete its construction plans and go through a permitting process.