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Housing - More than Four Walls

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4 months 1 week ago #901 by CommissionerAnn
Housing - More than Four Walls was created by CommissionerAnn
“A HOME is MORE THAN FOUR WALLS”This statement is true for my family –and I bet it’s true for yours.  And it also applies to what’s needed for people to reach stability after living on the streets.  Here in Austin, when we talk about solutions to homelessness, it’s essential that we include housing, meaning rental assistance and help locating a place to rent, and the county effort to incentivize more affordable, low-barrier housing development,  but it also means that we include access to·       healthcare – for physical and/or mental illness and for substance abuse treatment. ·       income – jobs/job training for most, and social security disability benefits for some·       other community/family activities to help people reconnectHUD calls this holistic approach “supportive housing” and it’s how we have successfully ended homelessness for thousands of homeless veterans and thousands of singles, families and youth. Success metrics include length of time folks remain housed, income gained while in the program, exists to permanent housing; and we can measure a reduction in arrests and emergency hospitalization.   Currently, most of the people you see living outside are on a waitlist for supportive housing programs.The evidence-based programs used to create housing stability are typically referred to as Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing.  Both are designed to help create stability for folks using rental housing, like apartments and single family or duplexes – and wrap around support services at the level needed by the client.  Everyone pays rent, and everyone must abide by their lease.  Rapid Rehousing programs are designed to provide 6-12 months of support, while the more intensive Permanent Supportive Housing is reserved for people who are chronically homeless, with disabilities and likely needing long-term on-going support including a rent voucher.   The recent Summit on Homelessness in Austin/Travis County set a goal to end homelessness for 3,000 people over the next 3 years. Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing are the main strategies planned to do that.  Again, the main components of these housing programs include:1.       rental assistance2.       low barrier housing units/bedrooms3.       support services including healthcare, case management & community connections.So if you hear me say "housing" in reference to solutions to homelessness, please know that I’m talking about "supportive housing" that includes these components, which the County has a history of funding.  And according to today's new federal guidance, it's just the type of investment that they expect us to fund.

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TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR'S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 3.6 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $11.00.

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