Response to 2019 Land Development Code

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

The mission of the Austin Housing Coalition is to support members in creating, improving, and preserving affordable housing for the Austin community through collaborative education, advocacy, and organizing.  We see the Land Development Code rewrite as one essential step in reaching our broader goals as a community of “housers” across Austin and Central Texas.

We want to express our support for the amendments put forth by the Planning Commission for the new proposed Land Development Code (LDC) that advance the following “houser” goals:

  • Maximizing the potential capacity for income-restricted affordable units
  • Increasing affordable housing geographical dispersion
  • Increasing housing choice through a variety of typologies

We know that to meet our collective goals as a city and a community of “housers” that companion policies prioritizing funding and strategies for targeting deeply affordable housing and mitigating displacement and gentrification must also be enacted concurrently with the new LDC.  We support mitigation of displacement and gentrification as guided by the findings of the University of Texas Uprooted report.

The Austin Housing Coalition supports a variety of strategies for a simpler, streamlined, and easy to use new Land Development Code.  The existing proposed amendments and draft have much to celebrate, and we can still improve to meet our collective “houser” goals above.  More specifically, we encourage the city to:

  • Create transition zones along well-defined corridors in high-opportunity areas that often support transit access
  • More equitably map the geography of transition zones, particularly in more substantial corridors in high-opportunity areas, specifically west of Mopac
  • Maximize affordable housing bonuses through the city

As nonprofit housing developers, housing and policy experts, and other interested organizations, businesses, and residents, our members support the Land Development Code rewrite process as an important step towards meeting the housing needs of all Austinites, including older adults, people with disabilities, individuals experiencing homelessness, veterans, teens aging out of foster care, single-headed households with children, and low-income students.

We are thankful to the staff and volunteer Commissioners who have dedicated their time and expertise to advancing a new Land Development Code, and we encourage Council to stand firm with “housers” and the Planning Commission recommendations for achieving our collective affordable housing goals.


Nicole Joslin, RA, LEED AP
2019 Chair, Austin Housing Coalition
Executive Director, Community Powered Workshop