The Housing of the 5,000

RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

Dear Editor,
    The new homelessness ordinances that allow anyone to camp anywhere on city property as long as they don't impede the right of way – and the new pay raise for county commissioners – are linked to the confusion that permeates Austin. Part confusion, possibly quasi-corrupted, it is a standard for these kinds of systems. Rather than Mayor Adler and his City Council ordering large tent shelters with cots, running water, latrines, and showers with the ability to also allow individual tents being placed in large, strategically unoccupied and easily monitored areas in order to give the homeless a running chance at adequate shelter, they decided to turn the city into a ghetto.
    “House the Homeless, City of Austin people,” says Mayor Adler. By dumping them on the city? By suggesting we all build costly housing for them? How about cheap, efficient units that will house 5,000? Is anything like that really possible? Anything will raise everyone's taxes, and not really solve this problem to everyone's satisfaction, as it will perpetually increase over time while Mayor Adler has 11 or 12 houses? How many have you turned over to them, Mayor? How about you and the City Council each take one or two in your homes? Or set up a program for people to do this. But stop taking for granted that a large percentage of the city of Austin is not living paycheck to paycheck; or within a budget, that doesn't get a yearly raise, and doesn't have endless extra monies for grandiose schemes when simple solutions will do. The city keeps taking more taxes from everyone's paychecks, like it's their money, with little bylines of “it's just a $75 property tax increase," while thinking we don't know that the city and county are doing this on multiple fronts.
    What does this mean to the people earning $15 an hour and below? The store owners raise their prices to pay for these tax increases and puts it on the lower wage earner. So let's see some real leadership ideas.
    Only 14% voted in the last mayoral run-off election – don't forget to vote.
Michael Brooks
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle