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The Austin Tenants Council protects tenants' rights and educates the community on fair housing. Our vision is to make Texas communities open to all without discrimination and free of landlord-tenant disputes.

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IRS EIN: 23-7312901
Website: http://www.housing-rights.org
Email: juliana@housing-rights.org
Phone Number: 512-474-7006
Address: 1640-B E. Second St. Suite 150
Austin, TX 78702
Founded in 1973, Austin Tenants Council has assisted thousands of tenants in remedying substandard living conditions by assisting them with enforcing their rights, and has decades of experience operating a broad-based, full-service housing rights agency.

We are hoping to expand our services to help low-income renters in Central Texas. We are now serving Hays County, and our Austin office will soon relocate to a larger, newer space that will allow us to better serve the needs of low-income renters.

Impact Statement

Austin Tenants Council is the proven solution for Central Texas tenants. Since 1972, the Austin Tenants Council has protected residents from discrimination and unsafe housing conditions.

Our services help renters stabilize housing. We assist renters through navigating the complex tenant laws, and we hold property owners accountable to fair-housing laws.

As the only resource available for many tenants, Austin Tenants Council offers critical programs with demonstrated records of success, including: Fair Housing Testing, Repair and Emergency Remediation, Telephone, in-person, and online counseling.

Needs Statement

We serve Central Texas low-income renters with housing problems. Annually, we provide 9000 counseling sessions. Yet, our funding has remained static for many years in the face of unprecedented need for our services.

While building new affordable housing is important, the most successful and cost efficient way to keep renters housed is to provide education, resources, and services to assist them with maintaining their housing and accessing their rights, including the right to proper notice and due process during an eviction. Educating and empowering Central Texas residents-both tenants and landlords-is the best way to stabilize tenants in housing and ensure that the affordable housing stock is safe, decent, and fair.

We need to support the following programs with these dollars:
Counseling - The core service of the program is counseling, which is offered by telephone and online to provide education and information regarding residential tenant-landlord issues.

Eviction Intervention - Eviction is one of the most significant threats to stable housing, and has a number of negative ripple effects on our communities, including housing instability, sudden loss of housing, eviction fees, loss of deposit, moving expenses, loss of property, relocation of children in schools, and loss of overall community and neighborhood stability.

Mediation - The program also includes a component to resolve tenant-landlord disputes through mediation, facilitated by an ATC counselor.

We also need funds to support expansion that provides services to Central Texas low-income renters. In order to meet our mission, we need funds for:
• Staff development, and
• Strategic planning.

We have a new Austin office location, which needs funding for facilities improvement:
• Office furniture, and equipment to fill 20 offices and counseling room;
• A conference room projector screen;
• Waiting room furniture, and
• IT equipment and software.
My family moved into an apartment infested with bugs. I was afraid for the health and safety of my family. I told the apartment manager we needed pest control services. They told me it was normal to have bugs in Texas.

I went to the Austin Tenants Council, and Kat provided professional service, and specific remedies. Our family stayed in the apartment.

The RRAP repair process education, on how to properly document my complaint, gave me the tools to resolve our pest control issues. If you have a tenant-landlord dispute, I recommend the Austin Tenants Council. -L. Acosta

I remember my mother went to the Austin Tenants Council, because of a housing discrimination issue. She worked hard to provide for our family, and she knew safe, fair, decent housing was critical for the success of her family.

The Austin Tenants Council helped my mother and our family keep our housing and fight for our rights as tenants. Now, I'm here to get help with a housing discrimination issue of my own. I'm grateful for the Austin Tenants Council and the help they provide. -L. Bowie
Volunteers Needed!

Austin Tenants' Council is seeking spirited volunteers to assist with the preparation of our quarterly newsletter for a bulk mailing distribution. Our newsletter is a significant publication providing essential educational information to tenants throughout Texas.

If you need to satisfy required volunteer hours, we will happily provide documented proof of your work. Please Contact Daniel Armendariz at 512-474-7007 ext. 102 or daniel@housing-rights.org if interested.

Volunteer/Intern
Housing Rights Advocate

Austin Tenants' Council, a community-based non-profit housing rights organization, seeks committed volunteers and interns to staff the telephone counseling line. Through ATC's telephone counseling line, thousands of callers per year receive basic information about landlords and tenants' rights and responsibilities under Texas law.

No knowledge of housing issues or landlord/tenant law is required, and comprehensive training is provided. Advocates should possess great phone skills and a dedication to client-centered service. As these calls are very short, advocates need to be able to think fast in order to triage, educate, and refer clients quickly. Basic computer skills and proficiency in conversational Spanish are a plus.

Individuals with an interest in public policy, public affairs, or housing law may be especially interested in this opportunity, as would those interested in developing their community outreach, case management or counseling skills.

Time commitment: One three-hour shift per week

To apply, send an email detailing your interest and availability to: Juliana@housing-rights.org.

Fair Housing Testers

Fight housing discrimination! The Austin Tenants' Council needs your help in gathering information about housing practices in Austin. Volunteers are needed who can objectively gather and report information about the availability of housing while posing as a prospective renter or homebuyer. Testers receive training and a stipend for completed tests along with reimbursement for actual costs such as mileage.

Fair housing testing provides an objective means to determine whether prospective renters or buyers are treated differently in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Testers are matched based on income, credit history, and other factors relevant to the home buying or leasing process. The seven protected classes identified under the Fair Housing Act are race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, disability, and familial status.

Watch our video to learn more about the importance of fair housing testing.

Read our brochure, What Is Fair Housing Testing?

Call 512-474-7007 to become a fair housing tester.

Cooperating Attorney Referral Program

Through the ATC Cooperating Attorney Referral Program, hundreds of tenants in our community have received quality legal services from local attorneys who are dedicated to assisting low-income individuals and families in housing-related cases. ATC refers two types of cases to our participating attorneys: tenant-landlord complaints and Fair Housing Act discrimination cases.

To continue this crucial service to our community, ATC needs your help. We need attorneys interested in representing clients who allege to have been treated inappropriately under the Fair Housing Act or the Texas Property Code.

The ATC Cooperating Attorney Referral Program is not a pro bono referral listing. However, ATC asks that you do not charge clients an hourly fee, but obtain your payment from either a percentage of the recovery or any statutory attorney's fees. Participation in the ATC Cooperating Attorney Referral Program does not commit you to take a case referred to you by ATC. It is always within your discretion to decline representation to a client referred to you.

For more details on participating in the Cooperating Attorney Referral Program, call 512-474-7006.

This service is certified as a lawyer referral service as required by the State of Texas under Chapter 952, Occupations Code.