Austin’s Neighborhood Issue

Densifying central city districts are often pointed out as hotbeds for gentrification, a term for development that implies a displacement of lower income communities for the benefit of high- and middle-income groups. This pushing out effect often occurs due to rising property values, which in turn drive up property taxes and rents thus pricing out the previous homeowners and tenants. The phenomenon has been identified in several major cities, but in this paper, we will be looking at the unique circumstances that surround the phenomenon in the context of Austin, Texas. We will then move on to identify some of the major related factors that have set the stage for this problem, and then offer some suggestions for how both policy and practice can help address these issues in the specific context of a north Austin neighborhood that is in danger of being gentrified.