Two months after releasing a list of potential sites for sanctioned encampments available to people experiencing homelessness, the city of Austin has narrowed down the possibilities—at least for the immediate future—to two.
The city-owned lots that staff members have recommended for further consideration as locations for temporary encampments are at 3511 Manor Road, just south of the Mueller neighborhood in East Austin , and 4011 Convict Hill Road, not far from MoPac in Southwest Austin.
According to a Tuesday announcement, the sites would need to be rezoned prior to the installation of temporary, prefab microshelters, which—along with fencing and round-the-clock security—the city apparently plans to provide. Both are close to Capital Metro routes.
The availability of nearby utilities and the ability to control traffic around the areas are other factors that make them candidates for the legally approved encampments.
According to a memo from Dianna Grey, the city's homeless strategy officer, and Parks and Recreation Department Director Kimberly McNeeley, "Both properties are owned by the City of Austin, are being held for future creation of affordable housing, and could be used temporarily until that development takes place."
The identification of the locations is part of implementing the mandates of a May City Council resolution that specifies steps and deadlines for its Housing-Focused Homeless Encampment Assistance Link initiative. Grey and McNeeley are scheduled to provide a briefing about the two sites at a July 27 council work session.