Ethan Smith has been an advocate for affordable student housing, particularly as it applies to UT-Austin’s student population. His 2021 thesis proposed a housing and equity strategy for UT. In this episode of the Plutopia Podcast, Ethan, Jon and Scoop explore the affordable housing crisis in Austin and it’s impact on students, musicians, and workers.
Ethan Smith: “Median-income tied definitions of affordable housing are problematic for student housing because it doesn’t imply it really is a legal framework that is not made for students because it’s based off HUD and a lot of things that you know the federal housing way you can get money. It specifically does not include student housing. Likewise at U.T. the PUF money, which is the permanent fund specifically is carved out that you can’t do student housing. So we don’t really have an existing legal framework for student housing. And that’s something that the city council could do but I just wonder if anybody will go to bat for it.”
You can find Ethan’s thesis at: