AUSTIN (KXAN) — One group stated the rise in folks dwelling on the streets downtown has damage many companies. That comes throughout greater than a yr of challenges tied to the pandemic.
“There’s actually some challenges, clearly, as the town grows and will get greater,” stated Ellis Winstanley, co-owner and president of El Arroyo.
Serving Austin for 9 years, Winstanley has witnessed its progress. A kind of challenges: homelessness.
“I’ve had a second of that personally, however I’ve heard about it extra from folks working downtown,” stated Winstanley, of security issues.
Different enterprise homeowners really feel extra strongly.
In October, Downtown Austin Alliance surveyed practically 2,000 residents, staff and guests and located 75% of respondents stated security downtown had gotten worse over the past yr, and most — 73% — needed homelessness addressed.
“Because the ordinance has modified practically two years in the past, issues have gotten approach out of steadiness,” stated Invoice Brice, vice chairman of investor relations for Downtown Austin Alliance.
He stated they will’t touch upon Proposition B itself however stated they’ve seen a unfavourable affect for the reason that public tenting ban was first lifted in 2019.
“This has undoubtedly been detrimental to downtown economic system, to the economic system of the town as an entire. It could simply not be exhibiting up but,” Brice stated, though he stated they don’t have knowledge indicating that affect.
Numbers from nonprofit ECHO present the homeless group has grown downtown between 2017 and 2019.
“When it comes to crime knowledge, downtown is a really protected place and protected metropolis as an entire — the notion isn’t essentially there, and that usually impacts our guests trade,” Brice stated.
However he stated fixing that goes past legal guidelines and ordinances. He desires to see extra housing and higher companies.
“We’ve obtained to offer folks which can be there speedy alternate options which can be higher than tenting in locations that weren’t meant for habitation,” he stated.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce endorsed Prop B. It posted that place to its web site in March. In a press release to KXAN Monday, it added “the established order in Austin isn’t working.”
Each the chamber and the alliance stated they’re dedicated to the serving to the town’s promise to deal with 3,000 folks in three years, a objective that got here out of the Summit to Address Unsheltered Homelessness in April.
Whereas Winstanley didn’t need to touch upon Prop B, he stated he’s glad to see the town’s phased method and hopes leaders are additionally consulting with homelessness consultants in Austin and past.
“You need to work with any person earlier than you attempt to take some form of punitive measures,” he stated.