Travis County commissioners unanimously approved July 20 mitigation efforts to help residents living at the Rosemont at Oak Valley apartment complex, which sustained damage from the February winter storm.
Residents at the complex, located at 2800 Collins Creek Drive near South Pleasant Valley Road and Oltorf Street, received notices earlier in July concerning an order to vacate the property by the end of July. Only households who received long-lasting damage from the February winter storm received the notices. As the deadline to vacate approaches, Housing Authority of Travis County staff have mostly finalized a plan to assist these residents with relocating. Temporary housing will be offered for 87 households at two extended stay hotels near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for up to 90 days. A few have elected to sign a lease elsewhere and will not be able to return to the property.
Patrick Howard, HATC executive director and CEO, said the goal is to relocate tenants by the start of school, which is Aug. 18 for those in Austin ISD, and ideally by Aug. 1. HATC has confirmed with AISD officials that buses will be rerouted to accommodate the children of these families as well.
Although many details have been nailed down, Howard said officials are close to finalizing a plan to hire moving companies to assist with relocation.
The county has several options to pay for the project, including reimbursement from federal funding and the general fund, said Sherry Fleming, county executive for health and human services. The emergency rental assistance program may also help cover the hotel stays.
“The general fund would give [the court] ultimate flexibility in terms of implementing the expectations and wishes [the sourt] would have for these families,” Fleming said. “There are circumstances that would qualify this under the Emergency Rental Assistance program as well as the American Rescue Plan Act.”
Howard ensured all families are being met to care for their individual needs, and those interested in moving back can move into units that will be ready first.
“We will prioritize those who are interested in moving back into the property, paying attention to if they qualify for certain units and what bedroom size they need,” Howard said. “Those individuals can be out for as short as three weeks, maybe a little bit longer.”
Commissioner Jeff Travillion suggested the county provide personal protective equipment and vaccinations during the move out process. Fleming confirmed the Health and Human Services Department can work with the housing authority to provide PPE, but did not comment on whether vaccinations could be available.