AUSTIN (KXAN) — Things got a little heated at a public forum addressing homelessness in Austin.
The goal of the event, held in the Ragsdale Center at St. Edward’s University, was to discuss the challenges the city is facing as the homeless population grows.
“What will it take — what will it take for this board to repeal the lenient changes they made in June, that can lead to a shanty town? We cannot normalize shanty town. That doesn’t help anybody — that doesn’t help the homeless,” one audience member said.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler, members of the City Council, Caritas of Austin, and Integral Care were at the forum, where people were yelling.
“Ma’am, all of us are here to hear solutions,” one woman shouted as another yelled, “You’re not the boss of me!”
At least one person — holding an InfoWars-branded microphone — got up and berated city council.
The man was removed after the disruption.
City council is expected to take feedback from the meeting to discuss on Sept. 19. Homelessness rules and regulations have become a point of contention for Austinites since certain laws were loosened just months ago.
Following the meeting, Mayor Steve Adler hosted a press conference where disruptions continued. Adler said there the city council plans to increase funding for the homeless, and said revenue from a convention center expansion could be used to help as well.
Adler stressed the city needs to act now because next year it will be constrained by new property tax restrictions passed during the Texas legislative session.