AUSTIN, Texas — Voters on May 1 passed Austin’s Proposition B by roughly 57%. The ordinance will take effect Tuesday, May 11 and reinstate the public camping ban and its criminal penalties.
Just how the ordinance will be enforced remains to be seen as does a timeline for its enforcement.
The ordinance comes as state lawmakers push for a statewide homeless camping ban.
Austin’s Prop B passage was seen as a sharp rebuke of the Austin City Council, which in 2019 lifted the camping ban.
If Gov. Greg Abbott were to sign statewide legislation, it would overrule local ordinances.
What will happen to Austin’s thousands of residents experiencing homelessness remains to be seen. A recent attempt to convert an unused hotel in the northwest part of the city into long-term housing has been met with resistance by nearby residents and neighboring businesses.
The City of Austin is seeking to identify temporary housing sites. That includes a directive for staff to locate publicly-owned land or land owned by community partners that could accommodate small structures to serve as temporary housing for those experiencing homelessness.