Grimes comes out as Austin YIMBY

The Canadian singer-songwriter reveals she needs help from her ex, Elon Musk, to afford her Austin home

Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes (Twitter/Grimezsz, Getty)
Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes (Twitter/Grimezsz, Getty)

This week, Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes took to Twitter to discuss Gen Z’s hottest topic: zoning regulations.

Warning that Austin was at risk of becoming like San Francisco — “where the original population can’t afford to live there anymore due to the tech boom” — she urged her “fellow Texans” to sign a petition pushing to ease restrictions on development.

“My fellow Texans! petitions can feel useless but I guarantee local politicians are taking these seriously,” the musician posted. “Plz sign to reduce housing costs in Austin. There’s effective legislation on the table here but we need public support 💚🐉.”

The tweet included a link to petition posted by the non-profit Texans for Reasonable Solutions. According to its website, TRS advocates for urbanistic development to make housing more accessible as well as curbing zoning and land use restrictions.

On September 14, TRS reportedly met with the Texas Senate Committee on Local Government to discuss legislation to increase the housing supply.

“After we walked out of that meeting, we feel that our chance of passing pro-housing, pro-growth bills, pro-affordability bills, have skyrocketed,” Chairwoman Nicole Nabulsi Nosek told the Dallas Observer. “We were all over the moon. We did not expect it to go that well.”

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As Austin continues to grow, there have been clashes between residents and the local government over the city’s development code, which was last updated in 1984 when the population was half as large. As of right now, building housing is a case-by-case, neighborhood by neighborhood process that has led to drawn-out fights and a prolonged housing shortage.

While the majority of the singer-songwriter’s replies to her September 26 tweet were in support of the initiative, there were a handful of NIMBYs who were either skeptical about the efficacy of housing legislation or against increased housing developments in general. One user, who identified herself as “born/raised in Austin w/ a background of local gov development services,” vehemently opposed Grimes and TRS’ cause. “This is dangerous. We need to discourage development,” @Rebecca79031294 argued. “To allow someone to build two living dwellings on their house benefits short term renters not homeowners. Bad for Austin!!”

Despite still working on her sixth studio album, which she had promised her fans two years ago, the singer-songwriter posted several follow-up tweets to clarify her take on the issue for her 1.3 million followers.

“Btw for those saying housing bills don’t work, Houston is a great case study. We MUST avoid Austin becoming like SF, where the original population can’t afford to live there anymore due to the tech boom,” wrote the mother of X Æ A-12 Musk, 2, and Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, 10 months.

When one user said Grimes’ opinion on the housing market was “invalid” due to her ties to one of the richest men in the world, the musician revealed that she needed assistance from ex to afford her Austin home.

“First of all I couldn’t afford to buy a house that fits my kids in Austin [at the moment] without help from their dad [Musk] which is INSANE cuz I’m a p[retty] successful artist,” she wrote. “Secondly, these aren’t my opinions, I’ve just agreed to help out some actual experts/policy makers.”

It was first reported that the Canadian artist moved to Texas in March after her breakup with Elon Musk. After Grimes posted a picture of herself reading Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, news broke that she had started dating whistleblower Chelsea Manning. On March 11, Page Six reported that the two, along with Grimes’ two children by Musk, had moved into an Austin home together.

Ironically, Musk’s ex and reported Marx fan also tweeted, “The over-regulation in Cali is anti innovation. Tx is pro innovation, (they let u blow up rockets for example haha). but if we want to move our most innovative companies to Tx we owe it to the citizens to protect their living Standards.”