Austin City Council approves purchase of new homeless shelter

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council approved the purchase of a building in South Austin Thursday for a new homeless shelter.

The vote was unanimous and it will begin the process of buying a building on Ben White Boulevard.

The property is close to a large number of people who could use the help, but also near where people live, work and go to school.

“You will be responsible for ruining my home, my son’s safety, and the same goes for my neighbors,” one man told council members.

Speakers said the new shelter would create more safety and public health issues.

Some expressed concerns the property would become another ARCH.

Leaders insist that won’t be the case. They say the shelter will be housing-focused, with no drop-ins, no hanging around, and measures that would secure the property.

City staff evaluated about 30 city-owned properties and 70 private properties before choosing this site.

According to city documents, Austin wouldn’t pay more than $8.6 million for the property.

It was last appraised at just under $3.6 million.

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