Friends of Hyde Park Endorses Democrat Herbie Smith For TX-49

While Austin is in the middle of an economic and housing boom, working families are being left behind. With high economic growth, Austinites are paying some of the highest housing costs in the country, leading to middle and working class Texans being priced out of our neighborhoods. We are excited to work with Herbie to address Austin’s long-term housing needs, by reforming the land development code to encourage the construction of dense, mixed use properties and supporting efforts to create more multi-family housing. Our communities are stronger for being racially and economically diverse; staying the course is unsustainable.

Herbie believes that housing is a human right, and that our government should work to secure that right for all citizens. He will fight for investments in public and affordable housing, especially temporary and supportive housing for the unhoused and the working class. Recent actions by the Austin City Council to purchase hotels as temporary housing for the unhoused is evidence this approach is effective – giving people housing is the only solution that works. Herbie will work to expand these efforts in the Texas House to ensure the housing needs of every Texan are met.

Representative Hinojosa has carried just two unique bills that address housing supply and affordability in her nearly three terms in the Texas House. One of those was intended to stop the development of The Grove, a mixed-use community that would ultimately deliver more than 1500 homes, businesses, and a 16-acre public park in central Austin. This bill would have led to fewer homes in Austin, which would have exacerbated the current housing crisis. The other would have allowed municipalities to implement inclusionary zoning, which, if done incorrectly, can lead to less affordable housing and worsen housing shortages.

As the centerpiece of his pro-housing agenda, Herbie will propose legislation that would formally recognize housing as a human right in Texas. He will include requirements for state and local authorities to invest in housing all our neighbors. He will work to require municipalities to implement policies similar to the recommendations in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, The American Jobs Plan, that would “eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies” in order “to eliminate such needless barriers to producing affordable housing.”

With a combination of improvements to local land development codes, a regulated private market, and public sector investment, we believe we can build a future where no Texan is priced out of their home or forced to sleep on a sidewalk again.



Information About Friends of Hyde Park

Friends of Hyde Park is a neighborhood association located in central Austin, TX with over 500 current members (approximately 50% renters and 50% homestead homeowners). Friends of Hyde Park advocates for more affordable housing and a more walkable, bikeable, inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and transit friendly neighborhood and city.