Texas city council looking to purchase for-sale motels to turn into homeless shelters

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AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas city council is looking to purchase motels to turn into homeless shelters.

According to KEYE, Austin City Council approved the purchase of a Roadway Inn about two weeks ago.  The city plans to convert the motel into a homeless shelter.

Now the city is looking for more for-sale motels to potentially buy and do the same too.

“All motels for sale within the City of Austin jurisdictional boundaries will be pursued and screened,” the city said in a memo obtained by KEYE.

The city is considering a list of ten factors when looking at potential motels to buy. They include the following:

  1. Ability to be converted into bridge units or permanent supportive housing
  2. Condition of the building
  3. Building configuration
  4. Unit configuration
  5. Number of rooms in motel
  6. Whether or not existing plumbing and wiring support future installation of kitchenettes and associated appliances
  7. Location, neighborhood and adjacent amenities
  8. Environmental factors
  9. Acquisition and renovation costs
  10. Relocation support

Officials say turning motels into homeless shelters will take pressure off the city’s downtown shelter.

“ECHO is writing in support of the purchase of hotels to be used as low barrier bridge housing for people experiencing homelessness,” Matt Mollica, the Executive Director of Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, told KEYE in an email. “The hotel sites will provide a place for people experiencing homelessness to access the necessary support and medical services to begin their path out of homelessness.”

The city argues that a program like this would be a good start to addressing the root causes of homelessness in Austin.

Click here to learn more about the proposal.

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