AUSTIN, TEXAS – Mayor Steve Adler and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) are pleased to announce two new resources to aid the homeless currently residing in temporary shelters and to build and finance new housing for the homeless.
HACA has received $1,078,690 through the Mainstream voucher program, authorized by the federal CARES Coronavirus Relief Act, which will help 100 non-elderly disabled individuals transition from the Protective Lodging Facilities (ProLodge) system and find permanent supportive housing. HACA will be working with the City of Austin and community partners to identify and assist those most need help. Criminal background screening criteria have been significantly reduced to ensure that HACA can house more people in need.
This Mainstream voucher program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and these vouchers assist homeless, non-elderly persons with disabilities. An individual issued a voucher can locate a home in the private rental market. A housing subsidy is paid directly to the property owner/manager, and the household pays between 30-40% of their income for rent. Eligibility for the Mainstream program requires that the household's income not exceed 50% of the Austin metropolitan area median income.
To address the long-term need for permanent supportive housing for the homeless, HACA is also announcing the availability of 100 project-based vouchers to create new housing opportunities. These vouchers are being made available through a request for proposal (RFP) process to develop new permanent supportive housing or the rehabilitation of existing housing to serve the homeless.
HUD also provides the funding for these 100 project-based vouchers through the tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher program and attaches funding to specific units. Developments awarded project-based vouchers will be required to provide available units to the homeless for an expected term of twenty years. HACA plans to make an award of vouchers to selected developments in February and March. The rent paid to assist homeless families, and the vouchers' value over the twenty-year period is expected to exceed $22 million. Any qualified organization seeking to serve the homeless and access project-based vouchers should refer to the HACA website at hacanet.org/business-opportunities/bid-rfp.
"These new resources are an important tool to realize new supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness in Austin and to help provide permanent housing for those living in the temporary COVID-19 Protective Lodges," said Mayor Steve Adler. "We all see that too many of our neighbors are hurting, and we must do more to get people off the streets and out of tents. I appreciate HACA's leadership, and I want the community to know that the Council and City, the business community, the service providers, and the many community stakeholders are working aggressively this year to tackle homelessness in our city."
"HACA is pleased to provide these new resources to address homelessness in Austin, and we are grateful for Mayor Adler's leadership," added HACA CEO Michael Gerber. "The Housing Authority's mission is to serve people with the lowest income to secure affordable housing. HACA is committed to helping address homelessness in our city, and these two voucher resources will help so many people now, and for years to come."