AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin city council on Thursday night adopted a roadmap for spending federal pandemic relief dollars.
Among the highlights: an investment of $ 106.7 million over two years to fight the homelessness crisis in the city. Much of the money comes from federal dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act, but is also backed up by local dollars.
“This is a unique opportunity for our community to come together and get our neighbors off the streets,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a press release. “While the American Rescue Plan provides unprecedented federal funding, we still need the support of other government entities, businesses and our philanthropic partners to reach our community goal of housing 3,000 people in three years.”
Here is the funding breakdown for the $ 263.5 million in federal and local dollars:
- $ 106.7 M: Homeless Services
- $ 44.3 Million: Austin Public Health COVID-19 Response
- $ 35.3 M: Rent assistance
- $ 21.0 M: Workforce Development (including ACCC)
- $ 12.0M: Aid to the creative sector (including non-profit emergency relief)
- $ 11.0 M: Childcare / Family connects
- $ 6.7 M: Individual assistance
- $ 3.0 M: Food security
- $ 3.0 million: resilience centers
- $ 1.5M: Colony Park Sustainable Community
- $ 0.5M: Community Navigators
- $ 18.5 M: Contingency (surplus greater than 12% of the budget stabilization reserve)
A late addition of council members added more rent assistance dollars.
Grants for live music – another industry hit hard by the pandemic – amount to $ 4 million. Council members called on city staff to find ways to increase that number to $ 10 million for the industry. It came after a group of musicians spoke at the meeting on Thursday morning, asking for more help. It is not yet clear where the requested money would come from.
“I think a lot of people in Austin think that a guy with a guitar is the Austin community, but no, these are real jobs, real people who depend on it,” said Kevin Russell, a longtime musician. Austin date.
The board is now taking a six-week summer break and its next meeting will not be held until July 29. The elected body arouses the anger of some who say it will break up without a more concrete plan to locate sanctioned homeless campsites.