AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin locals are challenging Mayor Steve Adler and the City of Austin on their decision to move forward with the purchase of the empty Candlewood Suites hotel in northwest Austin for permanent homeless housing.
The “Stop Candlewood” group said nearby business owners and homeowners have safety concerns. They’re asking city council to find another location for permanent supportive housing.
“We earnestly ask Council to explore an infinitely more economical and effective location that could serve three to four times as many people as the Candlewood Suites,” said Rupal Chaudhari, of Stop Candlewood.
The protestors argue there are financial and timing incentives the city must take into account before executing this decision.
“Stop Candlewood” protested at Austin City Hall Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell told KXAN he’s planning to sue the city, if they go ahead with buying the property Thursday.
“From the perspective of Williamson County, I just want to say this — we’re going to stand up for our business owners, we’re going to stand up for our community, we’re going to stand up for our citizens,” Gravell said. “The City of Austin should be or would be, well suited to have a conversation, instead of dictating.”
Gravell said he just wants better communication from the city.
In addition to the hotel sale, there is also a resolution Thursday to direct the Austin City Manager to speak with Williamson, Travis and Hays Counties on homelessness-related opportunities, including real estate deals like this one.