AUSTIN (KXAN) — A bill that just made its way out of a Senate committee could change the rules for how local municipalities in Texas notify residents prior to converting properties into shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

“We’re excited to see this bill pass Senate committee UNANIMOUSLY on Monday! SB 1214 would require a hearing before converting a property (e.g. the Candlewood in NW #ATX) into a homeless shelter,” community group MOVE Candlewood posted. The group has worked to reverse the city’s decision to convert the former Candlewood Suites hotel into permanent supportive housing for older adults experiencing homelessness.

SB 1214, authored by Senator Charles Schwertner, a Republican, would require a municipality to notify people within a mile radius of a property no later than 36 hours before a public hearing. It only applies to homeless housing, not to housing during a natural disaster or public emergency.

It would also require a public hearing to happen no later than 90 days “before the municipality begins the conversation.”

Schwertner wrote in his statement of intent for the bill that it was authored in direct response to the Candlewood Suites purchase in Austin.

A City of Austin spokesperson said it currently follows planning and zoning rules and “large investments by the City include ample opportunity for public input and testimony,” but that there are no requirements tied to housing for those experiencing homelessness right now.

That spokesperson also noted the requirement in the bill to notify residents within a one-mile radius of the property “is extremely burdensome, going far beyond typical zoning notices of 500 feet.”

The City of Austin sent KXAN the following statement:

We are concerned that, if passed, this bill would greatly impact the City of Austin’s efforts to provide housing and services for people experiencing homelessness. The requirement to notify all residents within a 1-mile radius goes far beyond typical zoning notices of 500 feet and would create significant administrative burden, hampering efforts to end homelessness in Austin. Moreover, we are concerned that this bill could be in conflict with the federal Fair Housing Act. While public engagement is an essential component of good governance, increasing requirements – far beyond existing requirements for other types of housing and facilities – raises fair housing concerns, particularly considering that people experiencing homelessness are disproportionately people of color and/or people living with disabilities.