AUSTIN, Texas - Tents outside Austin City Hall are being cleared and those living in them are being asked to move.
City of Austin officials say the Austin Police Department and other city departments are working to clear the area outside of City Hall, on the corner of Guadalupe and Cesar Chavez, because the area has been designated for construction.
Officials say members of the Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST) and APD’s District Representatives have met with the people around City Hall to inform them about the construction and that those people staying in tents in the area have been informed that they are required to move.
Downtown Austin Community Court is providing access to violet bins for people to keep their personal belongings safe.
Officials say those who refuse to comply may be given a citation for violating the camping ordinance or be placed under arrest.
People who are along the north side of City Hall are also being required to move. Officials say they are trespassing on private property and those people have already received previous requests to move.
Officials say both groups of people were visited by HOST and APD District Representatives over the last 30 days, and have been informed about the upcoming construction project, as well as the criminal trespass issue.
The city says it is working on options for increasing temporary shelter capacity and creating designated campsites in the near future. At the same time, officials say they are focused on expanding long-term stable housing for people experiencing homelessness through initiatives like HEAL, creating new permanent supportive housing resources, and partnering with critical community organizations.