City-owned hotel to be renovated into housing for the homeless

The city of Austin is renovating a city-owned hotel into a new apartment community with support services to help homeless individuals move off the streets and into housing.

Austin City Council last week approved a contract to renovate a former hotel on Burnet Road in North Austin and enter an agreement with Integral Care to operate the facility as permanent supportive housing (PSH).

The new apartment community, named the Bungalows at Century Park, will comprise 60 fully furnished studio apartments, resident common spaces, and dedicated offices for delivery of social services. Other features will include onsite staffing 24 hours a day, onsite security, a laundry facility, and outside gathering space.

The new apartment community will comprise 60 fully furnished studio apartments, resident common spaces, and dedicated offices for delivery of social services.  (City of Austin)

The city says it will also offer onsite support to assist Austin residents exiting long term homelessness and living with disabilities such as case management, mental health care, substance use treatment, wellness services and employment services. Integral Care services will be tailored specifically to support tenants managing chronic behavioral health conditions.

Eligible individuals, who will sign a yearly lease to live in their apartment, will be single adults with a documented chronic homelessness history and a disabling condition. Potential residents will be referred through the community’s Coordinated Entry System, says the city.

There are currently roughly 1,200 PSH units in the community, including units supported by agencies and organizations other than the City of Austin.

The 60 new units planned for Burnet Road are part of over 1,000 new apartments being developed to serve the homeless over the next three years, supported by both the City of Austin and Travis County. About 400 of these 1000 units will be PSH, and all units will accept referrals solely from the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), which maintains a community-wide list of those waiting for housing, says the city.

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