Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Homeless Strategy Division to Host Virtual Meetings on Proposed ARPA Spending Plan

The City of Austin's Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey and team will host virtual public meetings on Oct. 14 and Oct. 18 to share an overview of the City's role in homelessness response and plans for expanding it by investing $106.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

"As a community, we have an exciting opportunity to dramatically expand our homelessness response and make significant and sustainable change," Grey said. "As these plans are being formed, it's important that we hear from community members and hear their feedback on the investments that will have the most impact."

Attend a Virtual Meeting and Take the Spending Priority Survey

Along with participating in a virtual overview meeting, Austinites are invited to take this survey on ARPA funds to expand the community-wide homelessness response. Visit the Speak Up Austin! webpage to register in advance. Both meetings are the same and will include time for time for Q&A.
  • 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14  
  • 6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 18
A Community Wide Plan

Earlier this year, a diverse group of civic, local government, and business leaders convened for discussions and planning around long term solutions to ending homelessness in Austin. Called The Summit to Address Unsheltered Homelessness, the series of conversations led to setting a community-wide goal for housing an additional 3,000 people over three years.

Summit leaders have been working to secure public and private resources to fund the comprehensive $515M community-wide plan.

Austin City Council passed a resolution in June affirming its intention to dedicate $106.7 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars toward the plan, contingent on other public and private partners matching the City's investment.

On September 14, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to allocate $110 million in ARPA funds to build housing units for people experiencing homelessness in the Austin area.

Grey will update to City Council on Summit governance and the funding plan later this month. 
"There is tremendous support and momentum to make a difference for our community and especially our unsheltered neighbors," said Grey. "By working with community partners, we can take large strides in making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in Austin."

Within the Strategic Direction 2023 Economic Opportunity and Affordability Outcome, City Council has made ending homelessness in Austin a top priority. In 2020, an estimated 1,879 individuals experiencing homelessness were housed through the combined efforts of the City of Austin, nonprofits, and other partners. The Summit goal for housing 3,000 additional individuals is over and above the annual average for the number of people housed through the existing homelessness response framework.

Feedback received during the meetings and from the survey will help to inform spending priorities and strengthen the City of Austin's work with government and community partners.