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Solutions to homelessness exist – they require scaling up social services and housing programs, including the pathways from shelter to housing. To date, Austin has not identified adequate funding to address this challenge. How would you work to identify the funding needed?

This will make a concerted effort and require long-range planning involving public resources at the city, state and federal level, as well as support from nonprofit organizations, foundations and the private sector. The upcoming 2018 bond election is an important step in this process, but we need a clear plan to continue the effort, including progress checks at regular intervals. As mayor, I will initiate a planning process to establish a feasible timeline and identified funding sources to meet Austin’s housing goals, similar to the assessment and master plan I initiated for city aquatics as an Austin City Council Member. As a Council Member, I fully supported the efforts on homelessness and have remained involved since then as an active member of the boards of both ECHO and HousingWorks Austin. As a board member, I participated in initiating 2 programs in particular: the Pay For Success funding model for homelessness and Ending Homelessness Among Families with Children. The former is now being implemented, and allows for private funding to invest in housing and services with governmental jurisdictions providing a modest return on their investment. The latter started as an initiative of HousingWorks which then transitioned to the leadership of ECHO, and is an exciting opportunity for new partnerships, incorporating area school districts and the health care community in the discussion.