RELEASE: WillCo lawsuit still on if City of Austin goes through with hotel purchase agreement
GEORGETOWN, Texas (Aug. 10, 2021 -- Stop Candlewood stands with Williamson County officials and their commitment to fight a disastrous homeless shelter plan in court if the need arises.
Stop Candlewood supporters urge city leaders to beware of a likely 'bait-and-switch scheme' claiming to turn general homeless hotel into women's shelter.
Item 13 on the Austin City Council agenda for Wednesday, Aug. 11, changes the objective of the purchase of the Candlewood Suites, located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd., in southwestern Williamson County. According to the draft resolution, the Candlewood would no longer be permanent supportive housing for the homeless but instead be used as a domestic violence shelter and for "related social services." However, with little in the way of advance notice or detailed information, community leaders remain highly skeptical of what seems to be a bait-and-switch scheme.
The following statement may be attributed to Rupal Chaudhari of Stop Candlewood:
"With less than 24 hours to go, the city of Austin is throwing a Hail Mary pass in hopes that Council members will approve a resolution to purchase the Candlewood Suites and turn it into a women's shelter instead of a homeless shelter. It may sound like a noble objective, but the devil is in the utter lack of details.
"This out-of-the-blue proposal allows for 'related social services,' which could mean anything, even though the words 'permanent supportive housing' no longer appear.
"Even if this is an honest proposal, Candlewood is the wrong location. Not only did SAFE Austin previously 'strongly recommend' against the Candlewood Suites location, but the structure fails to comply with basic domestic violence building requirements.
"For these reasons and many more we remain steadfastly opposed to the purchase. We are thankful for Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell's dedication and resolve to deny this purchase. We encourage the County Commissioners and all local leaders to continue to support a lawsuit should Item 13 be approved by the Austin City Council on Wednesday."
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 here. More information on the Stop Candlewood movement may be found at www.StopCandlewood.com.