Mayor Adler reflects on D.C. visit with President Obama

President Barack Obama is greeted by Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler on the tarmac upon his arrival on Air Force One, Friday, March 11, 2016, at Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas. Obama traveled to Austin, to speak at South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) and attend 2 Democratic National Committee fundraisers. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Mayor Steve Adler is back in town after visiting Washington D.C. for South By South Lawn.

Adler started off the morning in the West Wing with some of the White House staff, Government Relations officials and some working with Housing and Urban Development. They discussed housing challenges facing Austin comparing the city to others addressing a similar housing challenge.

“They are suggesting some housing tools, [I] brought back some information and I think it will help us with our Code Next project,” said Adler.

Code Next started three years ago and is currently more than a year behind schedule. The city group is trying to rework the rules on what can be built on different types of land. The goal is to bring more dense development like apartments and duplexes.

“What we have what we talk about changing the development code is anxiety on both sides, neighborhoods that are concerned with how they can preserve their character and then we have folks that are concerned about whether we can actually achieve the housing supply that we need in this city in order to do something about housing prices,” said Adler.

During his meetings Adler said he focused on learning from the experiences on how other cities have been able to deal with those two different points of view, find common ground, and find a place that actually serves the interest of both.

“Some people in this town don’t think we’re going to be able to find it, but other cities have and all we have to do is learn from their experience,” said Adler.

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