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Thursday, July 22, 2021 by Seth Smalley
County to provide short-term lodging and repairs for Rosemont residents
On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court revisited the situation at the Rosemont apartment complex in South Austin, where over 80 families we had been given abrupt notice they would have to leave their homes by the end of the month as a result of structural and aesthetic damage from Winter Storm Uri. Following the discussion last week, the Housing Authority of Travis County pledged to work with the county to provide lodging for the affected tenants. Tenants will also not be permanently removed from their homes by the end of July (as was previously warned), and will receive assistance in their transition to new housing should they need it.
“We will be sending out a notice to residents, essentially making them aware of their requirement not to relocate by the end of the month,” said Patrick Howard with the Housing Authority, adding that the notice would probably be distributed that day.
While some residents intend to move out permanently, a majority will most likely return after repairs are completed.
“What we’ve elected to do, with your support, is to provide temporary housing for tenants off-site. It’s around 87 tenants, give or take,” Howard told the commissioners. “It appears that most of the tenants do have an interest in relocating back to the site, so that would mean lodging them for a period of up to maybe 90 days.”
Conversation centered around the allocation of necessary funding to assist residents in their transition, as well as the time frame of the relocation apartment repairs. Considerations included temporary lodging for the tenants and relocating their belongings to a storage facility.
Howard gave a strict deadline of completing all needed resident relocations (but not repairs) before the start of the school year.
“My goal is to have the work done prior to school starting, which I understand is the ninth (of August).” Howard said. “Ideally they could be relocated by the first of August. But my drop-dead date would be to have them relocated the weekend prior to school starting.”
“We need to talk about housing options, whether they be on-site or off-site for the residents, as well as other supportive services, like a social worker to work with the residents, should they have additional needs we’re unaware of,” County Executive Sherri Fleming added.
Howard did not yet have a price tag for the relocations or the repairs, saying the Housing Authority is still shopping around between different transportation, lodging and storage companies.
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