Austin will be the first major Texas, US, city to use local tax dollars to give cash to low-income families to keep them housed as the cost-of-living skyrockets. Under a yearlong, $1 million pilot program that cleared a key Austin City Council vote recently, the city will send monthly checks of $1,000 to 85 needy households at risk of losing their homes -- an attempt to insulate low-income residents from Austin’s increasingly expensive housing market and prevent more people from becoming homeless. “We can find people moments before they end up on our streets that prevent them, divert them from being there. That would not only be wonderful for them, it would be wise and smart for the taxpayers in the city of Austin because it will be a lot less expensive to divert someone from homelessness than to help them find a home once they’re on our streets,” said Austin mayor Steve Adler.

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