RELEASE: Austinites given handful of days to learn about Candlewood buy, communicate with Council
AUSTIN (Aug. 9, 2021) -- While Stop Candlewood supporters were successful in stalling the the city's plan to buy the 83-room Candlewood Suites (10811 Pecan Park Blvd., in northwest Austin) since early this year for use as homeless housing, the hotel purchase is making a comeback just before the city's purchasing options expire in late August.
The Austin City Council agenda for Wednesday, Aug. 11, contains Item 13, which appears to amend the plan to use the hotel for a women's shelter -- "to be used only for domestic violence or other shelter, housing, or related social services" according to the resolution text.
The following statement may be attributed to Rupal Chaudhari of Stop Candlewood.
"The lack of communication and due process from the City of Austin is alarming!
"With zero communication or heads-up to area residents, businesses, or organizations like Stop Candlewood, the city is now engaged in a bait-and-switch scheme to soften the blow of purchasing the Candlewood Suites.
"We're not convinced the intention of this agenda item is to build a domestic violence shelter. This out-of-the-blue proposal includes 'related social services,' which could mean anything, even though the words 'permanent supportive housing' no longer appear. With no concrete details and little time to research this, we therefore remain firmly opposed to the purchase.
"For over half a year we have been engaged with city staff and elected officials on reaching an alternative location for a homeless shelter and hosting public forums as to solutions for Austin's homeless going forward. We demand better from our city leaders. We will continue to advocate for greater transparency, stronger communication, and more responsiveness from our local government leaders."
Those wishing to speak before the Council have until noon on Tuesday, Aug. 10, to sign up. Registration instructions may be found on the city's website. More information on the Stop Candlewood movement may be found at www.StopCandlewood.com.