If passed by the city council, CodeNEXT will usher in a new wave of gentrification across Austin—particularly on the city’s East Side—displacing people of color at an even faster rate than we’ve seen in the past.
The longtime community leaders of East Austin have had enough. Ignored by CodeNEXT’s supporters in the real estate industry, they have now released their own plan.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Dr. Fred McGhee of the Save Montopolis Negro School Coalition, Nelson Linder of the Austin NAACP, Susana Almanza of PODER, and a crowd of neighborhood activists gathered in support of six detailed proposals that the Austin City Council can immediately adopt to fight the rampant gentrification in their communities and the displacement of local families that comes along with it.
“We have a crisis,” said Linder. “Thousands of people of color are being removed from East Austin by gentrification. We need specific programs now to prevent our displacement and save our communities. We call on the City to make its highest priority preventing our displacement from our East Austin communities, and put CodeNEXT on the back burner.”
The group’s proposal is known as the East Austin People’s Plan, and you can take a look at a full-length copy here.
The plan calls for the following:
- Establish Interim Land Restrictions in East Austin to limit degradation of the fragile natural and cultural environment
- Establish a Low-Income Housing Trust Fund overseen by a community body, a fund that would make public investments exclusively in low-income housing, as in Denver
- Use City Public Land in 2018 to create 2,000 low-income housing units on eight city properties
- Implement an East Austin Neighborhood Conservation Program with Conservation and Historic Preservation Districts to restrict land use, a tool that has been successful in other cities
- Enact Right to Return and Right to Stay Programs as in Portland and Houston, which help seniors and low- income residents stay in and return to their communities
- Enact a local Environmental Quality Review Program to ensure environmental justice
“After 516 council directives that include multiple resolutions and half a dozen task forces, the time for study and talk is over in Austin,” said McGhee. “As Dr. King said, there comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
“CodeNEXT is not the answer to preventing our replacement by affluent newcomers,” said Almanza. “The solution is to enact specific programs that have worked in other cities: making major public investments in low income affordable housing—for those making 60 percent of the median family income and less—and restricting land use to prevent demolition and redevelopment of our neighborhoods.”
Call Mayor Steve Adler and your council member and tell them to support the East Austin People’s Plan! Check this map if you aren’t sure which council member represents you.
Mayor Steve Adler: 512-978-2100
Ora Houston (District 1): 512-978-2101
Delia Garza (District 2): 512-978-2102
Sabino Renteria (District 3): 512-978-2103
Greg Casar (District 4): 512-978-2104
Ann Kitchen (District 5): 512-978-2105
Jimmy Flannigan (District 6): 512-978-2106
Leslie Pool (District 7): 512-978-2107
Ellen Troxclair (District 8): 512-978-2108
Kathie Tovo (District 9): 512-978-2109
Alison Alter (District 10): 512-978-2110
Together we can build an Austin for everyone!