Gentrification & Displacement Initiative

Only City Council members and authorized staff are allowed to post on this message board.

Gentrification & Displacement Initiative

Postby Louisa Brinsmade » Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:25 pm

I am posting this on behalf of Council Member Leslie Pool:

Hello Colleagues:

In August, I will bring an initiative to the Council that I have been working on for the past several months with other council offices to deeply examine the gentrification and growing displacement we face as a city. This effort is long overdue, but I am encouraged by the variety of citizen groups and commissions that have most recently, and rightly, called for action from the Council to address this important issue.

Our initiative calls for a UT-based gentrification and displacement study and a mapping of our city based on a spectrum of vulnerability. The goal is to dig deeply into what we already know is occurring to get objective data analysis on who is affected, where it’s happening and the causes. Ultimately, this thorough research will provide a foundation for good policy decisions to help stabilize our vulnerable communities.

Regarding Mayor Adler’s message board posting on a new displacement task force: the task force will provide an essential community conversation, and the academic data analysis and mapping that I am proposing provides the research to support good policymaking. I see these two initiatives as complimentary and necessary components for examining and addressing this social and economic trend in Austin. This initiative is, and should be, a separate undertaking from the task force initiative. The task force finds its strength in elevating the voices of the displaced, and the strength of the study stands on its independence and academic rigour.

Gentrification and displacement are occurring in many communities of our city, including in large portions of my district, and across ethnic, racial, age, and social groups. We are all invested in examining gentrification and in preventing and combating displacement if we want a diverse and sustainable city.

We are grateful to Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, Associate Professor of Community and Regional Planning and Social Work at the University of Texas, and to her colleagues who are preparing a proposal for the gentrification and displacement study as well as the mapping element.

I look forward to working with my colleagues to facilitate this greater depth of knowledge as a path towards solutions.

Leslie Pool, Council Member District 7
Policy Advisor
Office of Leslie Pool, District 7
Louisa Brinsmade
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:27 pm

Re: Gentrification & Displacement Initiative

Postby Steve Adler » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:20 pm

I'm excited to work together and fully support this study. Its findings will help inform the task force with valuable information. Let me know how I can help.

Thanks for your leadership on this issue.

Steve Adler
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:12 pm

Re: Gentrification & Displacement Initiative

Postby Genoveva Rodriguez » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:20 pm

Posting on behalf of Council Member Houston:

I appreciate the Mayor’s suggestion of creating a ‘Displacement Task Force’ and Council Member Pool’s study using the neutrality of academic research to include the mapping of where ‘displacement’ has occurred, where the next wave might occur and the belief that they are complementary tasks.

The serious concerns about gentrification and displacement have been chronicled in our City since the first staff report was completed March 10, 2000, entitled ‘Gentrification and Neighborhood Planning’. That report was updated on June 12, 2001, entitled ‘Gentrification Committee Report’. That committee adopted the Brookings Institution framework which “identified ten strategies to mitigate the impact of gentrification”. During the 17 intervening years since the 2000 report, I am not aware of any data regarding the implementation of the recommendations. Additionally, I am unable to estimate the number of people who were forced out of our community during those 17 years. Individuals who are willing sellers of their property due to the financial benefits are not included in my definition of ‘displaced’.

The City of Austin is known for establishing task forces, executing studies, hiring consultants, and receiving final reports only to place them in a drawer until it is time to dust the report off to refresh it or start anew. Most recently in the report from the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities, the word ‘gentrification’ is mentioned 16 times and ‘displacement’ is mentioned 10 times. The Real Estate and Housing Working Group made recommendations regarding gentrification. How will those recommendation intersect with the proposed efforts? If these two ‘complementary’ efforts identify solutions/outcomes an implementation plan must be developed to reverse and/or prevent further displacement of members of ‘historic’ communities. This is an incredible opportunity to make a difference for the next generation of the remaining families to be able to ‘live in place’.

The ‘Displacement Task Force’ should be composed of experts. Experts are individuals from across this City who have been ‘displaced’ from their neighborhoods, their support systems and friends. Perhaps by listening to their experiences and their recommendations regarding what would have allowed them to remain in their neighborhood, the ‘technical’ experts might be able to determine what can be done to mitigate the displacement of the next wave of renters, homeowners and small businesses.

Some tools which have been used in other states cannot be used in Texas, please don’t incorporate those tools, there are individuals in our community who don’t have another 17 years.
Policy Aide, Media & Communications
Office of Ora Houston, District 1
Genoveva Rodriguez
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:58 pm

Re: Gentrification & Displacement Initiative

Postby Ann Kitchen » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:20 pm

CM Pool

I appreciate your leadership and efforts on this issue and look forward to co-sponsoring the initiative with you and other Councilmembers.

I also am familiar with Dr. Mueller's work and pleased to have the opportunity for her expertise on this project.

Best Regards

Ann Kitchen
City Council D5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5
Ann Kitchen
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:04 pm

Re: Gentrification & Displacement Initiative

Postby Louisa Brinsmade » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:35 am

This posting is on behalf of CM Pool:


As I mentioned in our work session today, a task force to look at gentrification in Austin was formed by the Austin City Council in 2002. At the time, the context was a desire to evaluate the effect of historic landmark structures on gentrification (the task force ultimately determined that historic zoning had a positive impact on East Austin neighborhoods and actually led to a stabilization of communities). The task force also looked more broadly at the overall trends of gentrification in East Austin and outlined criteria established by the Brookings Institute for determining if an area is gentrified or likely to be gentrified.

Here are the criteria outlined in the report:

"The Brookings Institution report suggests that a combination of the following conditions would indicate the likelihood that gentrification could occur:
o High rate of renters
o Ease of access to job centers (freeways, public transit, reverse commutes, new subway stations or ferry routes)
o High and increasing levels of metropolitan congestion
o High architectural value
o Comparatively low housing values

The Brookings report also outlines trends indicating that gentrification is in progress. These trends include the following:
o Shift from rental tenure to homeownership
o Increase in down-payment ratios, decline in FHA-financing
o Influx of households and individuals interested in specifically urban amenities and cultural niches
o Influx of amenities that serve higher income levels, for instance music clubs and galleries, valet parking, new coffee house locations, etc.

In addition, Brookings identified five factors contributing to gentrification today:
o Rapid job growth
o Tight housing market
o Preference for City Amenities
o Increased traffic congestion and lengthening commutes
o Targeted public sector policies."

Link: ... austin.pdf
File Upload: ... 100753.pdf

I hope this is helpful for our discussion.

Leslie Pool, Council Member District 7
Policy Advisor
Office of Leslie Pool, District 7
Louisa Brinsmade
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:27 pm

Return to City of Austin Council Message Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests