East Ridge Mayor says Chattanooga was silent on homeless housing plan

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga’s City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a resolution that would lease up to 100 hotel rooms from the Budgetel Inn and Suites off of Exit 1 near East Ridge.

Chattanooga already provides this service to the homeless, but this resolution would greatly expand it.

However, East Ridge Mayor Brian Williams said in a Facebook post that he was not consulted by the City of Chattanooga prior to the vote.

With the hotel being in East Ridge’s city limits, he expressed concerns about logistics and abiding by city ordinances, saying that East Ridge would be responsible for providing things like emergency services.

“Any emergency call, any type of service call would be the city of East Ridge, since it’s in our city limits. We’d have to initiate the call and provide the service. That’s why we need to find out how the decision was made, why it was made in this manner, and find out information so we can move forward,” says Williams.

And despite the concerns of East Ridge Mayor Brian Williams, Chattanooga City Councilman Anthony Byrd insists that the move to lease the rooms was made with good intentions, and that any conflict with the city can be resolved.

“This right here is one step to trying to make things right in our society, especially when it comes to our homeless population. And I just don’t think we’ll ever see anything perfect, and I know a lot of people are going to be upset to where things like this are located – but it’s going to take a village. We’ll have to work together, we have to show love, and we have to show compassion, and just at the end of the day let’s do the right thing for everyone,” says Councilman Byrd.

Chattanooga Director of Special Projects Tyler Yount says that FEMA will reimburse the city for 100 percent of what they call non-congregant shelter for the homeless during the pandemic.

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