AREA'S Realtors quote their perspective on Austin's Homeless Problems...

 


AREA fellow Realtors quotes and perspectives on the question, "Has Austin's Homelessness Problem affected you and clients financial situation yet? Has it hit your wallets and purses yet? 


"I've lost at least 5 clients due to the rising crime and homelessness problem in Austin. These issues were specifically mentioned... They decided on other cities in Texas..."


"This actually happens more than we know in the homeless camps as my husband used to work for APD. There is much mental illness in those camps. However, that use to be pushed back out of sight so it was not as obvious to the city inhabitants as to what was going on. The problem with the public camping is that now it has brought those problems closer to the people of Austin and created a much more dangerous situation for everyone."


It has made some buyers rethink their decision on areas of Austin.


No.


No


It’s costing all of us


Yes . Challenging to renting units in a building due to homeless camping at park across the street .




Yes. Clients/friends I worked with for months on their relocation from CA came out to Austin to take a look and decided that weekend they aren’t interested in Austin anymore and are now focusing on Dallas. They had stayed downtown and were shocked.
Another out of state relocation referral changed their mind and chose TN after they saw what is going on.

Nope


Yes I've had a couple clients decide on other cities because of it. 1 was bringing his high end retail business with him. 

Nope. Austin is friendly as hell. Safe as hell. Never felt scared here. Homelessness isn’t the problem. Lack of help is

Nope

Desperate times calls for desperate measures and yes there have been criminal homeless people. It's really disgusting and the City of Austin has done nothing but put out trash cans and some porta potties in a few areas. Still trashy.....and off of 183 in North Austin to Northwest Austin is disgusting! They are getting very close to neighborhoods and it's unacceptable. What will stop them from taking over the neighborhoods? The City needs to put this on the front burner and resolve this ongoing problem!!


We opted not to buy a condo downtown after our last visit. I live in RR and went to hang out after going to a theater downtown....I can not believe how much it has changed.



Nope


Grew up in SA, where it is even worse with less housing assistance, there is a whole South Park episode poking fun at the 210. Anyone that attended UT Austin deals with it daily as well. It's an issue that spans the whole state. Aggressive capitalism without reinvesting any taxes in the citizens is the problem, imho, homeless people are the victims.


Unfortunately, it’s become a problem. The trash and needles are a big nuisance. And very dangerous. They’re going into our waterways. So sad what Adler has done. Let’s build some more shelters. Tax the big companies as we should have. So many tech companies are getting a huuuuuuge break. It’s not right.



There is a definite impact that the new camping ordinance has on certain areas of the city. I manage two properties one being by a neighborhood park. There was a large camp set up there with a large population of homeless. I have issues with some of the residents of this camp that have broken into my laundry room, harassed my residents, defecated along the backside of the property, and have attempted to break into apartments. I have had to call the police on several occasions. I have lost 4 residents so far and have had prospects just turn around and say nevermind. I have spoken to many of the people who live at the camp and have asked them to please keep it clean. One of them told me that there are bad seeds in the camp that make it hard for them. I also live off Riverside where there is a large camp full of trash and so far there have been 2 murders. These people need help and rules to abide by. I am not afraid to live here I am just sad to see so many people with mental illness, addictions and other issues living in the streets


They have no rules to abide by so this cycle will continue. I am not allowed to walk around with a beer in public why should they? I am not allowed to litter because if I do I will get a fine. There needs to be more of a police presence at these camps to assure the most vulnerable are not in danger.


I have had clients from California come and be turned off by the homelessness. They decided to relocate to Arizona instead two families

The City of Austin is being held hostage by the homeless camps issue. I feel for them but enough is enough. As tax payers we should demand that the City council get there heads out of the water and start addressing the economic and safety impact that those camps have in our City.


It's a complicated problem. They are human beings and pushing them from one place to another is not the answer. I don't know why the city can't require these huge companies that get tax incentives to fund programs to help find solutions/shelters, mental health care, etc


Well if they keep building these we may have some more inventory. Here is a new construction 1 bed with a carport




I am New Braunfels based, however, I have picked up at least 7(that I can easily think of) clients who have either moved from Austin for this reason, or come from out of state and decided against Austin for this reason.


Yes. We need to hold our city leaders accountable. The city has a huge budget to provide resources and they have decided this is the best option. How sad is it that we live in one of the most prosperous cities in the world and there are people with mental illness living on the streets? Sign the petition so we can get this issue handled before it’s too late. Click the link below to have it mailed to you


Yes it's as far up to 183 & 620/Lake Creek area. That's Williamson county (I understand Williamson County is more strict about this than Travis County) so obviously the cops aren't doing anything about it. I saw about three months or so ago, the cops blocked off 183/Lake Creek underpass to clean that area up. Removing mattresses, trash etc. There are no homeless there as of now. But about 6 months ago there were some camping in the woods at the corner of 183/Avery Ranch subdivision (where we live). Now Dell Children's hospital is going up so no more in there now. The underpass at 183 and Oak Knoll is bad.


yes it’s so bad under 183 up NW Austin. It’s horrible and way too close to the neighborhoods, it hasn’t seem to affect homes yet, but they need to get it under control.


Yes. I’ve had 2 relocating clients that are no longer considering moving here.


JUST talked to an investor friend/client who had to spend $18,000 in damages and repairs bc one or more of ADLER’s crackhead homeless broke in DESTROYED a JUST remodeled property she has. NOW the buyers want out bc of FEAR..


The Sunrise church gets a monthly donation; does that count?
This little church has Transitioned more people from homelessness back into work and homes than any organization in Austin.
Tackling Mental illness and hopelessness every day!
Here is a link to help them, help the homeless.

Thank you, GVM, for asking the question that needed to be asked

https://www.saveaustinnow.com/

 This has been happening since immediately after council and mayor repealed the camping ban, sending an open invitation to all to move to Austin. This isn’t Covid. Things literally changed within a week. It’s been a year and a half now.


Yes. One client who decided not to buy downtown because he said if he wanted to live in such a dangerous trashy area, he might as well move back to California, which he did. Another who was relocating here with his job and once his family saw the tent cities and squalor, they turned the relocation offer down. A third who was considering between Austin and Arizona and opted for Arizona, stating that it looked cleaner and safer, mentioning the tents under the over passes.


I have a friend that was assaulted twice in the last two months on the bus on his way to work. This most recent one he incurred the financial impact of the ER and lost wages. He woke up in the ER.


Yes. Clients don’t want to buy anywhere near an area with homeless tents.


I have commercial clients office-ing near Ben White. Has been tough for them....


My son was chased by homeless man on the way to work on a daily basis. He would throw rocks at him.


we have moved out to the country thankfully but on Nextdoor in our old neighborhood in Great Hills crime has skyrocketed, cars burgled, things stolen from people’s yards, just regular posts of people reporting various crimes. Used to be rare to an occasional report of things like that but all too common now it appears.


Coming from San Jose, CA I can tell you exactly what happens. This is why we left a couple of years ago... surprise here we are again 😡. They WILL come into the neighborhoods and the crime WILL go up. This won’t be a family safe neighborhood where kids can run around outside. It is 😞 sad. People will avoid businesses as they will begin to camp outside those too. We are fixing up a house to sell off Oak Knoll and 183 and scares me half to death that this will get worse and affect the value.

it’s bad in south austin too


The City of Austin is being held hostage by the homeless camps issue. I feel for them but enough is enough. As tax payers we should demand that the City council get there heads out of the water and start addressing the economic and safety impact that those camps have in our City.


It's a complicated problem. They are human beings and pushing them from one place to another is not the answer. I don't know why the city can't require these huge companies that get tax incentives to fund programs to help find solutions/shelters, mental health care, etc.


I agree with you however I do believe that with these camps there needs to be rules and regulations. I spoke with some of the people at the camp in the park. Several of them like the life of living outside. I don’t understand that but I am a different creature I love being inside warm cozy having a bathroom. Some are battling addiction and not ready to give it up. What’s really sad is that if they are not ready to be helped The cycle will continue to go round and round.



It’s disgusting, and yes, it’s having an economic effect on me and my clients. Additionally, I don’t feel safe walking around downtown at night anymore by myself.


Yes. Had a $600k relocator client, ironically from California, fly in to view property in preparation for a pretty certain move. It’s all they talked about the entire time, saying it’s what they were trying to move away from. They decided against Austin.


Yes, a friend and I were chased on the town lake trail back in April (it was 5:30am).....been running same trail and time for 15 years. I had a man lay across my car and laugh when I shook my head no to a window wash by 183/360. And we had a guy try to open our back door to get in our house at night (he tried 5 other houses too). This has all happened this year. I believe all these men suffered from mental issues and I truly want the problem taken care of in a compassionate manner. Living in tents on the streets isn’t good for anyone, them or us. I want the Austin I love back. I’ve signed the petition going around and hope they get the 30k signatures they need.
As for clients, I’ve had several clients move from central and northwest Austin to the suburbs for exactly this reason.



More importantly their health. My son drives for UPS and delivered to Cavendars on S. Lamar. He stepped in a hole behind the store delivering to their dock, the hole was filled with homeless feces and urine. I would say NO MORE DELIVERIES CAVENDARS, until that is cleaned up!! The homeless guy just laughed at him. Clean your city up Steve Adler #dotherightthing


Nope. Most of my clients are empathetic people and supportive of making the changes necessary to address the underlying problems of homelessness


Also, I’d just like to point out that for those losing clients coming here, we already have a housing shortage. Yes, this hurts your bottom line when people choose not to move here, but it’s hurting everyone in Austin who wants to buy when there are 30 offers for every home. First time homebuyers without a pile of money reminiscent of a bank robbery take are effectively shut out in the current environment. I’d ask when we hit a saturation point for people in Austin, but we’ve been there for several years now.


You are talking about PEOPLE! HUMAN BEINGS. WOW 

It’s one of the reasons I’m moving to TN. Austin just isn’t what I want to be around at this point

I sold my own home. Think I'll go camp on the lake and save $14,000 a month in property taxes

My friend was approached by a homeless man who wanted money. She refused to open her window and he took a baseball bat and knocked out her back window!!! She called 911 and police came out. Super freaked out.

I have not been directly effected yet. But I see it. For an individual to think of a solution is overwhelming but to criminalize being homeless is a crime in itself. I do think there should be designated areas. I think a public service announcement suggesting specific donations rather than monetary would also be a good idea along with a how we can help info. I give as much as I can. It’s very disheartening to see all the complaints and very few solutions offered

Mainly personal. I was living downtown & approached every morning. A guy rolled over my hood while I was taking the U-Turn at Spicewood/183. Sadly, I was going to slow…. (jk, maybe)

For those who want some history and truth:
Some history and a little more broad info (page 18) about it being revisited but I can't find an article on the original rule. https://nlchp.org/wp.../uploads/2019/02/No_Safe_Place.pdf
Why make public camping legal?
In Adler's own words they made public camping legal because it would create anxiety within the population to create momentum to solve the problem. See the article here. https://www.statesman.com/.../homelessness-laws-new-south...
Is camping ban against federal law?
From what I can tell the answer is NO if the state or city provides places for homeless people to camp, which Abbot did provide when all this started. Article on the subject in Idaho. Obviously we need more shelter options but buying expensive hotels (and $7B for rail) will just push more people into homelessness via property tax increases! We need city owned land and micro housing and services with jobs for residents - like Community First Village. https://www.statesman.com/.../us-supreme-court-lets-stand...
More info:
Homelessness was over 6000 in the late 90’s. Its been hovering around 2000 for 10+ years (see attached graphic) and our homeless numbers are extremely low compared to other cities and that growth was only 4% in 2018 compared to 9% in Dallas for example.
The current homeless count was around 2200 in 2019, which is less than in 2011-2012. The Austin MSA population has actually grown by over 69% from 2000 to 2017 according to the US Census Bureau! So our "old" policies and efforts towards homelessness appear to have been quite effective actually - certainly on a percentage of the population. Yet council said "old" policies similar to ours in Austin ARE THE REASON that cities in CA are out of control. They say if CA cities could have avoided the situation if they would just have built more housing years ago. Well, now we know that isn't exactly true and that legalizing camping has enabled more homelessness. (see attached video as just one mans perspective)
Net result since making public camping legal:
Since legalizing public camping and doubling the homelessness spend to $62.7M homelessness has actually risen 11%/45% (homeless count/unsheltered population) and crime is up (article and article). Not to mention the city is trashed and cleaning crews can't keep up for basic health and sanitation purposes. https://www.statesman.com/.../austin-sees-11-increase-in....
Once the public camping ban was lifted crime and homelessness began rising almost simultaneously - and before the pandemic. This was a hot topic at the board of realtors so I spent an enormous amount of time learning about it and discussing it and have posts about it from 2019 before and after the change.
The best conversations I've had about real solutions have been with Alan Graham at Community First Village. He agrees that this is a long-term problem to tackle and that the government will not fix it. He explained the history behind successful private or quasi-private endeavors that have successfully helped. Of course his community, which takes zero dollars from the city, is one of the most successful of its kind in the country.
So solutions are related to private partnerships and $ allocation towards facilities and a path to self sustainability along with a - live your life out to the end solution. Faith based facilities like Community First are successful for working on the heart and building community, which is notable as well.
Some articles I found from back when the city was making public camping legal.
Downtown Austin Alliance wants to reverse the camping spree rules.
Police Chief Manley suggests reversing the rules.
UT Police Chief David Carter suggests reversing the rules at least around campus
Violence has increased

I was just at Southpark meadows and I live in Steiner ranch. I haven't been there in over a year. The park was closed off and security said homeless has been sleeping in the park slides and going to the bathroom there..... and that it needs to be cleaned first before and children can play



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