The Austin Community Law Center's Community Campaigns are a combined effort of our nonprofit law firm, allies, and volunteers to improve longstanding problems in our community.
Fair Chance Housing is our campaign to combat housing discrimination against people with a conviction history.
Nearly one-third the adults in the U.S. have a criminal record. That is roughly the same number of that have four-year college degrees.
For a person with a conviction history, it is immensely difficult to rent an apartment in Austin. A report from the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, gathered data by surveying apartment complexes, and found:
At least half the apartments surveyed denied applications from people with any kind of felony conviction.
Almost a quarter will reject an applicaant because an arrest history alone, even if charges were later dismissed.
Families with these rental barriers often pay pay higher rent for worse conditions; have greater reason to fear retaliation from landlords; and are more likely to live further from jobs and good schools.
Mass outreach and education about renters’ rights under the Fair Housing Act.
Legal clinics and impact litigation to enforce legal rights.
Organizing renters to civic engagement and exercising collective power.