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Friday, April 11, 2008


Dee Copeland

I saw the City Council meeting on public access, so wanted to provide an update.

From the Opposition:
1. The agenda item was placed early in the morning when it was originally scheduled for evening, so people who wanted to speak in opposition could no longer attend. They asked the item to be pulled from the agenda

2. Trailer parks are not built to last and the project is for single individuals only. Why not build a sustainable project for children and their families.

3. They're using housing bond money for this project even though it hasn't been used for housing for family or children.

4. 10 neighborhood association asked City Council to postpone this item and they just learned about it on the news. Habitat for Humanity, for instance, could have used this land.

In Favor:
1. There's a 4 acre buffer between the camp and the neighborhood behind it.
2. If the project fails, we can try another location since it's mobile. This project will not be the answer to all problems in all areas of Austin. The purpose is to have 200 homeless individuals get off the streets and find work. We have to continue to address the issue.
3. The project worked in smaller test cases, so it seems as if it will work on a larger scale. The general concept was worked on for 3 years, with the last year trying to find a site. It came down to the fact that this site matched all the criteria.
4. There are other affordable projects in talks at Northcross mall, Saint Johns and IH35, as well as Banister Lane in South Austin.
5. The lease agreement is not signed, so we can still talk about adding women and small children. This decision today doesn't cost the city anything and bond money is NOT being used. The city will make money from utilities.

Again, as long as East Austin residents have their fears eased and answered, I support this decision. If the community doesn't support the project, we should go back to the drawing board to make sure they feel involved. One of the speakers mentioned that this is an example of why the city needs single-member districts. On the other hand, the "not in my back yard" mentality may run even more rampant.

Mike Martinez is going to help ensure further talks with neighbors.


This is "classism" at its best.

This is the last little affordable spot where a resident of limited means can live in the city. They dont have child care-- they are the child care workers. They cant bring thier kids to chunky cheese and play-- they cant afford that-- they have to play in the neighborhood. Why in the world would the city do such a thing on the backs of an already at risk population of very low income.

I am a property owner there-- I had NO notice. I found out about this on Friday AFTER it had already passed.

These people do not have cars. They are going to be walking through the neighborhood. This is all about cleaning up downtown and getting the homeless away the Austin's new wealthy downtown residents. I admire the effort -- I just think it needs to be done away from single family home owners too poor to fight this this.

The city is progressive and they want to be leader the way-- I admire that. Why dont they put it there on the proposed Villa Muse development-- apparently that site may be available now that the city has run off the developers.

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