TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Travis County Commissioners approved a contract with Mobile Loaves & Fishes Tuesday worth $35 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The money will help build housing units, infrastructure and bolster services provided.
It’s the first designation of the $110 million the county received and set aside from the Biden administration’s ARPA, which was an economic stimulus bill signed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The county previously said it would use the funding to build at least 2,000 housing units for people experiencing homelessness.
After Travis County signed the dotted line Tuesday for the first $35 million, Mobile Loaves & Fishes says they’ll be able to build 640 units at its Community First! Burleson Village location. The money will go towards roads, utilities, home foundations, security, laundry, restrooms, and other community resources.
“There’s about 400 people that live with us currently and growing, by the time we’re all done we will have a population capacity of around 1,900-2,000 people,” Alan Graham, the founder of Mobile Loaves & Fishes, said.
Graham said they expect to break ground on this project during the early summer months. Construction will take roughly two years and Mobile Loaves & Fishes should be able to move people into the community by no later than 2025, he said.
“Through Mobile Loaves & Fishes, residents get physical and mental healthcare, addiction recovery services, dignified working opportunities and most importantly, a voice,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said.
The county said it’s still working on contracts for the remaining $75 million the county still has in ARPA funding.
“There’s additional units that Foundation Communities…we’ll tell you about that once we get that finally approved, they have sort of the apartment building at the front end of this. The Other One’s Foundation, additional units there,” Brown said.
He noted roughly half of the money was being used for a nonprofit collaborative project. The contract has not been set forward for that yet, Brown said.