Homeless camps being cleared out in front of Austin City Hall

Homeless camps being cleared out in front of Austin City Hall

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin said Monday it is clearing out homeless encampments around City Hall due to “upcoming construction.”

Since the city’s camping ban was put back into place by the passing of Proposition B in May, people moved their tents around City Hall in protest. The city says people camping around City Hall near the intersection of Guadalupe and Cesar Chavez were told about the construction “within the last 30 days” by members of the Homeless Outreach Street Team and Austin Police Department representatives.

The city also says those with tents on the north side of City Hall are trespassing and have to move immediately or face fines or being arrested. The second phase of Proposition B’s enforcement began Sunday.

A City of Austin spokesperson confirmed seven people were arrested earlier today on charges such as interference with public duties and failure to obey a lawful order.

Downtown Austin Community Court is giving people access to storage bins, and the city says they are “actively pursuing options for increasing temporary shelter capacity and creating designed campsites in the near future.”

Austin City Council voted to use 58% of its money from the American Rescue Plan, around $ 84 million, for homelessness services over the next two years. In total, the council passed framework to spend more than $ 107 million to address homelessness before they went on summer break. The council is set to meet next July 29.

Save Austin Now, the group that organized to get Proposition B on the ballot in November, says the council isn’t acting fast enough.

Author: Billy Gates
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

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