Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Office of Civil Rights Calls for Community Input to Help Protect Renters

The City of Austin is continuing its efforts to protect renters. According to the latest data from the 2020 Census, more than 50% of Austinites are renters. While rent and cost of living continues to increase affordable housing is more difficult to find and displacement and evictions are more likely to occur.
 
“The right to assemble and redress grievances has always been a significant hallmark of change,” said Civil Rights Officer Carol Johnson. “The opportunity to provide safe places to address housing issues through tenant organizing will provide another tool for landlords and tenants to continue to work hand-in-hand to ensure that housing choice and housing opportunity is equitable, safe, decent and affordable.”  
 
The City is dedicated to protecting tenants’ rights and Council has already adopted two resolutions to strengthen those protections.
 
Resolution 20220203-039 surrounds exploring tenants' rights to organize and redress grievances related to housing.

Resolution 20220203-040 directed City staff to look into providing an additional right to address lease violations prior to eviction. This opportunity can help prevent eviction filings, displacement, and homelessness while still ensuring outstanding rent is paid.

The Office of Civil Rights is hosting in-person Open House engagements to better understand how implementing changes to support tenants’ rights will impact Austin renters.

“This has been an exciting opportunity to work with landlord, housing providers, tenants and advocates to explore create ways to reduce housing insecurity and promote positive exchange between landlords and tenants,” said Johnson.  
 
Meeting information: 

  • Saturday, June 11, 2022
    10-11:30 a.m.
    YMCA North location, 1000 W. Rundberg Ln.
  • Wednesday, June 29, 2022
    6:30-8 p.m.
    Montopolis Recreation and Community Center, 1200 Montopolis Dr.

If you are not able to make one of the Open House engagements, you can provide input by visiting SpeakUp Austin!

For more information on the meeting and the Office of Civil Rights visit: Office of Civil Rights | AustinTexas.gov

July 4th, 2022: Independence Day Holiday Closures

  Several City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed today, Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day Parks and Recreation ...