AUSTIN, Texas — According to KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman, last year the City of Austin allocated more than $73 million in taxpayer money to combatting homelessness. $31 million of it has yet to be spent.
A Statesman analysis of fiscal year 2020 spending suggests Austin did not move forward with numerous planned expenditures for homeless services, including the purchase of a motel and permanent housing. The City of Austin also had the intention to hire an anti-displacement specialist but failed to do so because of a hiring freeze sparked by the pandemic.
The report states city leaders allocated $73.4 million to be spent on homelessness-related services, the most ever for Austin. Of that, $54.4 million was from local funds and $19 million came from federal grants.
As of Sunday, the Statesman reported Austin has spent about 57% of the total amount, or $42.3 million.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler has reportedly asked City Manager Spencer Cronk to investigate how much of the unused funds are still available and could possibly be spent on permanent housing or other services. The report also states that a City spokesperson confirmed that most of the funding has been committed to council-approved programs.
To read the full report, click here.
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