Williamson County moves forward with homelessness, affordable housing, public service projects

The Williamson County Commissioners Court meets most Tuesdays at the county courthouse on the Square in downtown Georgetown.

The Williamson County Commissioners Court meets most Tuesdays at the county courthouse on the Square in downtown Georgetown.

A $1.4 million Community Development Block Grant will help 15 projects in Williamson County.

The Housing and Urban Development grant will support community development and affordable housing projects between 2019 and 2023.

In a 4-0 Williamson County Commissioners Court vote June 25, the consolidated plan, action plan and the updated citizen participation plan were approved.

Fifteen projects were selected based on a citizen-driven need identification process and stakeholder meetings, and projects will receive funding in October for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Projects aim to increase affordable housing, aid the homeless population, provide public services and promote fair housing, according to the program guidelines and priorities approved on April 23.

The 15 projects include:

Bluebonnet Trails Community MHMR Center/Social Service
Taylor Dickey Museum and Multipurpose Center
City of Georgetown Home Repair Program
Georgetown Housing Authority Rehab
Granger Housing Authority Rehab
Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County/Land Acquisition
Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County/Homeowner Rehab
Williamson County Crisis Center dba Hope Alliance/Social Service
Williamson County Crisis Center dba Hope Alliance/Shelter Rehab
Interagency Support Council of Eastern Williamson County, Inc./Social Service
City of Leander Senior Activity Center
Lone Star Circle of Care Project Headwaters
Williamson County EMS Mobile Outreach and Community Health Paramedicine/Social Service
The Key2Free/Social Service
Program Administration

Sally Bardwell, the county’s community development administrator, said the projects are only for the upcoming year, and future projects are not yet planned. Bardwell said no comments were given on the projects to date.

Alternative projects can be completed if a grant surplus occurs. These include sidewalk projects in Liberty Hill and Georgetown, Victoria Street reconstruction and water improvements in Taylor and housing for survivors of human trafficking.

A change to the Citizen Participation Plan was also approved at the June 25 meeting. Instead of waiting 30 days to approve funds during a federally declared disaster, a seven-day comment period and at least one public hearing would be held. Aid would be amended from the existing consolidated plan.

“That allows us to assist in an emergency and not have to wait 30 days when the emergency may already be over,” Bardwell said.