‘STOP CANDLEWOOD’: Group protests converting NW Austin hotel into housing for the homeless

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — People against converting a hotel in northwest Austin into housing for the homeless brought their concerns to Austin City Hall on Tuesday.

They dropped off dozens of letters from concerned homeowners and businesses to Austin Mayor Steve Adler — urging the City of Austin against the conversion of the Candlewood Suites located on Pecan Park Boulevard.

Rupal Chaudhari, owner of Chaudhari Partnership, is leading the efforts. She’s also suing to try to stop the plan to convert the hotel completely. She says other business owners and homeowners in the area are worried about safety. She’s also worried about her hotel being impacted, since it’s right next door.

“We tell the city: take a step back, plan, come up with a plan,” said Chaudhari. “Share it with the community, engage with community intake. You cannot put something like this in a neighborhood so close and not expect the community to not voice their concerns.”

On Monday, the city said it’s in the process of performing its “due diligence” to purchase the hotel. A step to finalize the housing plan for the homeless will go before City Council in a couple of weeks.

The protest comes fresh off the heels of Austin voters approving the city’s camping ban be reinstated. The ordinance penalizes people for camping near downtown and the University of Texas — in addition to public areas not designated for camping by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.

Complaints from advocates against the highly controversial Prop B include its lack of resources to help for those experiencing homelessness, like housing assistance and health services. Austin’s camping ban goes back into effect May 11.

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