Home > News > HOUSINGWORKS BOARD MEMBER AWAIS AZHAR – An Austin Ambassador for Affordable Housing

Awais Azhar

What position do you hold, besides being a HousingWorks Austin board member?

I am a Community and Regional Planning Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, I serve on the City of Austin Planning Commission, Austin Housing Coalition Executive Committee, ECHO Continuum of Care Membership Council, Leadership Team of Planning Our Communities and Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Inclusion Interest Group Executive Committee.

Where did you grow up and attend school?

I grew up and went to school in Lahore, Pakistan. I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the National College of Arts, Lahore. I came to the United States in 2013 in order to receive my master’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin. I graduated in 2016 with Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning degrees.

What are your major career accomplishments?

I would like to think that my major career accomplishments are yet to come. However, it has been an honor serving the Austin community in various roles over the past seven years. Most recently, as a part of the ATX Mobility Coalition, I am proud to have worked on including equity, community engagement, and anti-displacement measures in the Project Connect bond proposition, including $300 Million in anti-displacement funding. As a Planning Commissioner and as part of the leadership of Planning Our Communities over the past few years, I was able to ensure that the drafts of the Land Development Code the City considered for adoption included a focus on increasing affordable housing, expanding housing in high opportunity areas, and ensuring that anti-displacement strategies were included. In addition, I worked to ensure a complete count during the 2020 census, the successful passage of the 2018 Affordable Housing Bonds and the development and adoption of the Affordability Unlocked housing program.

What are some interests of yours not related to your work or HousingWorks?

I enjoy playing percussion and singing with the Middle Eastern Music Ensemble at the University of Texas.


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