Austin leaders say the way to end homelessness is to provide housing

Most would agree that ending homelessness requires building homes for people to go to. "It is that complicated but also that very simple," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

City of Austin leaders and Travis County Judge Andy Brown provided an update on the effort to build permanent supportive housing units across the city. "We also put $110 million of our ARPA funding from the government toward housing and homelessness in our community," said Brown.

Councilmember Greg Casar highlighted an important number. When the new 10-1 council first came in, they only authorized 35 additional PSH housing units. That since has grown to 775 in the last two years.

"We can create a society where everyone has a roof over their head, where everyone can afford to live here, where people who work hard know they have somewhere they can lay their head at night," said Casar.

The city is allocating money to build additional housing across the city in the years ahead. The Terrace at Oak Springs has 50 units dedicated to permanent supportive housing. The city recently also broke ground for a similar project called Espero at Rutland.

"We are truly on the cusp of something historic in Austin," said Matt Mollica, executive director at ECHO.

But for the effort to succeed, those homes need to come with wraparound services. That's where organizations like Integral Care and ECHO step in.

The housing authority has committed $58 million to vouchers to get the chronically homeless housed, with plans to utilize even more units for that purpose. 

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