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What happens now when Austin’s public camping ban is reintroduced?



AUSTIN (KXAN) – There’s still a gap in what’s going to happen next with the homeless people in Austin.

This comes after the public camping ban was reintroduced by voters in Saturday’s election.

There are still many questions and many are eager for a solution.

Pushed to vote yes to Proposition B – to bring camping restrictions back – was successful, but now some are worried about what happens next.

Rupal Chaudhari is the owner and CFO of Homewood and the Hampton Inn Suites in northwest Austin. She̵

7;s on edge as city officials have already made plans for Candlewood Suites, which is located right next to her hotels. City leaders in Austin are working to convert it into housing exclusively for the homeless.

“I’m not sure what the right plan is,” Chaudhari said. “I do not think the city will solve this completely. So they think they want to buy Candlewood, house people, and the problem just disappears? None.”

Those camping near downtown, UT Austin or other public places not designated as a place of the city may get into trouble legally now.

Ben Nakhaima, a homeless lawyer on the board of the Texas Homeless Network, wants voters not to approve Proposition B. But he just wants to get people out of the street.

“I think the key here is urgency … I just want to encourage people to continue to not only stay on the council, but the key here is the county commissioners and make sure that they not only divert money to mental health, but for housing as well, ”said Nakhaima.

Chaudhari wants another option that does not involve housing near her company’s front doors or homes. So she’s suing the city to stop the purchase of Candlewood Suites.

“What is the plan?” Asked Chaudhari. “The [the city] is accountable to taxpayers … to society. ”

The camping ban will not take effect until 11 May. The city has not yet discussed how it plans to enforce new restrictions.


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