Austin mayor looks to address gentrification, displacement with task force

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As home and property values continue to increase in Austin, Mayor Steve Adler says the city has to address issues of displacement and gentrification.

In a post on the Austin City Council’s bulletin board, Adler says he wants to create a task force to “highlight anti-displacement policies, strategies and tools.” Adler believes while there are many city programs and initiatives that address certain parts of displacement, there isn’t a comprehensive understanding of what’s causing it and how to address it.

Adler’s resolution would commit the city to a six-month-long process to gather data that can be used by the task force. His vision for the task force includes 15 members—11 of whom would be appointed by the Austin City Council. The members could range from those who have been displaced to those who develop housing.

The task force would be charged with analyzing the number of low and middle-income residents who have been displaced along with the housing units available. Adler believes a “data driven community discussion” will allow the city to better manage the growth and make it more affordable for residents.

If other city council members approve, the resolution could be adopted in August.

Last month, a report from RealtyAustin indicated the average price for single family homes in the Austin-area is nearly $400,000, up nearly 10 percent from May 2016.

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