Hundreds of housing units throughout Austin could soon be filled by low-income tenants thanks to a new infusion of housing vouchers, representing one piece of city leaders’ plan to combat homelessness.

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin announced Nov. 9 that 300 housing choice vouchers—including 100 for supportive housing for veterans—will be allocated to the HACA by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The vouchers come in addition to the 391 already active in Austin, bringing the city’s total to nearly 700.

The voucher infusion is funded with $90.22 million from HUD and billed as part of the $515 million Finding Home ATX initiative, a local effort to fund housing efforts to reduce homelessness in Austin. HACA spokesperson Jeff Patterson said the housing authority is "fully aligned" with Finding Home and its top goal of housing 3,000 people through 2024.

“No better way to honor our nation’s heroes this Veteran’s Day than HACA’s commitment of $90 million to help our veterans and others facing chronic homelessness,” Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement. “Our community and HACA have put ourselves on a path to end homelessness. HACA is a community champion helping us get us closer to the promise of moving our unhoused neighbors into permanent housing.”

HACA said after it receives the vouchers from HUD, they will be tied for 20 years to specific housing units at complexes in the city. Residents living in the subsidized units will pay 30% of their monthly income on rent with the voucher program funds accounting for the remainder.

Interested property owners or developers can apply for up to 50 regular vouchers or 25 veteran-specific vouchers from the HACA through a request for proposals closing Jan. 9. After that, Patterson said voucher recommendations will be made to HACA's board in early 2023 with some housing opportunities at existing properties to follow next year. Vouchers tied to new development could be dedicated in future years.

Anyone experiencing homelessness and interested in receiving voucher-based rent support can apply through the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.

“Throughout his tenure, Mayor Adler has prioritized housing our city’s homeless neighbors. These 300 new project-based vouchers are the direct result of his work to bring together HACA and countless community partners working to end homelessness in Austin,” HACA CEO Michael Gerber said in a statement. “We look forward to reviewing the proposals and collaborating with our community partners, as we work to end homelessness in Austin."

The voucher announcement comes after the city and HUD have focused for more than a year on local homelessness response. Richard Cho, HUD's senior assistant on homelessness, said during a November Finding Home event that the initiative represented the progress communities can make on housing with federal support.

“This is exactly what it’s going to take to solve homelessness; this is what it’s going to take to house America," Cho said of Finding Home.