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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.

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with Fair Chance Housing

Fair Chance Housing is our campaign to ​combat housing discrimination against people with a conviction history.

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The Issues


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.


The Solutions


  • 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.

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