Caritas of Austin’s new housing facility for homeless set to open in Fall 2022

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AUSTIN (KXAN) —What’s next for Austin’s homeless community?

With Proposition B passing, homeless advocates are working to find support and housing for their clients.

“If we as a community create enough support in our community, we can end people’s homelessness,” said Jo Kathryn Quinn, president of Caritas Austin.

One solution could be Caritas Austin’s new facility. The nonprofit has partnered with The Vecino Group, a national developer of mission-driven housing, and the Austin Housing Finance Corporation to develop an apartment community called Espero Austin at Rutland, which will house people experiencing homelessness.

“It will be an apartment community that is designed specifically to be supportive housing,” Quinn said.

Construction on Espero at Rutland will begin this summer. It will eventually open its doors to about 170 people in Fall 2022.

“We will involve the residents in deciding what services are available on-site,” Quinn said. “One that we know will be needed is a food pantry.”

Case workers will also be on site to help their clients with other needs, from educational services to employment services.

“It is a journey and people need an extra layer of support and security in order to be successful,” said Quinn.

Clayton Fidler says he has lived near supportive housing and has his concerns, not only for Caritas’ property, but also others that have plans to go up.

“Wherever they put it that, it is going to be a major concern, that would be one thing I would look out for,” Fidler said. “Yeah, I am sure they can control the property itself, but when they push off the property what is that going to be like?”

What will safety look like at the apartment conplex?

“There will be a single point of entry that has a 24/7 staff presence at the entry so that we can keep the property very secure,” said Quinn.

Quinn says 97% of the clients Caritas serves in permanent supportive housing do not re-experience homelessness.

The total capital cost of Espero Austin at Rutland is $34 million. Capital funding to develop Espero Austin at Rutland is complete from the funding sources listed below. Caritas of Austin will raise the funding needed to expand their services and the professional staff needed.

Capital funding sources:
• 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding administered by Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA).
• Austin Housing Finance Corporation awarded $8.5 million through the City’s affordable housing bond program
• Private Activity Bonds

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