SAN ANTONIO (Texas News Radio) — The Austin city council has partially reinstated its public camping ban after Governor Greg Abbott had threatened to use state resources to address the city’s growing homelessness problem.
Multiple outlets report the new ban prevents people from camping on sidewalks, in front of homeless shelters in central Austin, or in areas with a high risk of wildfires.
The ban does not include medians, waterways or shelters outside central Austin.
The new ban passed the council on a 7 to 4 vote.
Governor Abbott had threatened the state would take action if Austin did not address the homelessness conditions in the city by the end of the month.
The governor’s office called the vote a meaningful step in addressing the homelessness issue in the city, but said it will continue to watch to see if the new policy brings any noticeable improvement.
The office also said TxDOT will be working with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Austin police, and the University of Texas to clear out encampments from under bridges in the city.
Updated with comments from the governor’s office.