AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin has a thorough plan to house the homeless — but some feel it’s coming without community input.
Days after voters approved the camping ban be reinstated, the city’s Housing and Planning Committee released documents discussing its housing blueprint, getting spaces to house up to 3,000 people by 2024.
In this blueprint, Candlewood Suites is still listed as part of the process, where there will reportedly be 80 converted rooms available for housing as early as August.
But the the city is still facing a lawsuit, lead by a local small business, Chaudhari Partnership — which is trying to stop the purchase of Candlewood Suites from being finalized.
Rupal Chaudhari, owner of the small business, feels the city is pushing neighbors’ concerns aside.
“We’re not going away,” Chaudhari said. “We asked for an injunction.”
Chaudhari is worried the conversion will hurt her hotels next door.
The housing and planning committee wants people to move in as early as August 2021.
“My question to the city council and mayor is, how come as a community, we don’t matter any more?” Chaudhari said.
Chaudari feels the city’s plans to move forward, disregards her concerns, as well as thousands of neighbors.
They signed a petition to oppose the hotel sale.
KXAN reached out to the city regarding neighbors concerns. We also asked the city what would happen if it loses the lawsuit. A spokesperson responded with a statement saying: “We are in the process of performing our due diligence related to the purchase of the hotel.”
Chaudari supports the camping ban being reinstated. KXAN asked what idea she would want to see, to get housing to those in need.
“The city has a lot of land, they can build up encampments, they can build up temporary structures. I’m not sure what’s the right plan,” she said.
Chaudhari said there was a lawsuit hearing on Thursday, April 29. On Tuesday, she said she plans to announce what came out of it. She has since collected letters, addressed to Mayor Steve Adler and council members, from community members against the purchase.
A step to finalize the housing plan for the homeless will go before city council on May 20.