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Community leaders hold discussion about Austin's gentrification crisis

One topic of discussion was the People's Plan, a six-step resolution to help save East Austin communities from gentrification and displacement.

AUSTIN — AUSTIN -- Dozens of community members and leaders gathered Sunday afternoon for a conversation about Austin's gentrification crisis.

Several groups -- including Community Not Commodity, Austin Justice Coalition, Austin NAACP, PODER, and La Raza Roundtable -- held the meeting at Southwest Key Programs in East Austin.

Among the topics of discussion was the People's Plan, which details six resolutions Austin's city council can adopt and implement to help save East Austin communities from gentrification and displacement, according to its authors, Dr. Jane Rivera, Dr. Fred McGhee and Susana Almanza:

1) Create low-income housing trust fund and appropriations

2) Adopt right-to-stay and right-to-return programs for East Austin residents

3) Use city-owned land for low-income housing

4) Expand use of Neighborhood Conservation Combined Districts and Historic Districts

5) Establish interim development regulations in areas with inadequate drainage

6) Implement Austin environmental quality review

"These are things that will take our local ship of state and point it towards a course that more closely approximates true north," McGhee told KVUE.

At the meeting, community leaders expressed concerns over CodeNext, the city's rewrite of the land development code, because they said it doesn't do enough to prevent families from being forced out of their communities through gentrification and displacement.

The city council is expected to vote at a meeting Thursday whether to direct the city manager to conduct a review and analysis of the People's Plan and make recommendations based on those findings.


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