AUSTIN, Texas — Local community leaders and homeowners joined the group "Stop Candlewood" on Sunday afternoon to rally and protest against the City of Austin's proposed purchase of the Candlewood Suites hotel to serve as "permanent supportive housing" for people experiencing homelessness.
Organizers of the event claim that the City initiated the purchase of the hotel, located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd., without warning "impacted homeowners and businesses, some [of] which share fences and driveways with the property."
Organizers said since initiating the purchase, the City has not officially notified the northwest Austin community of its intention nor spoke to concerns surrounding the proposed purchase, including "the location's dearth of transit and health services, public safety, proximity to schools, and impacts on local businesses – especially for a community that experienced homeless-related challenges under the camping ban repeal."
PHOTOS: Williamson County residents protest proposed Candlewood Suites purchase
Organizers said the City’s 90-day due diligence period to evaluate the purchase was supposed to end in early May but has been extended through mid-June.
Earlier this month, Stop Candlewood leaders delivered dozens of signed letters from concerned homeowners and businesses to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council.
In April, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said Adler never told him about his plans for the hotel and that he didn't find out until the deal was finalized. The following day, Adler told KVUE that Gravell's statement wasn't true, saying, "He and I spoke before the city council took action and I have the text where he and I set up the phone call."
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