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Community Development Clinic

Colonias Contracts

Faculty, fellows, and students conduct study on informal housing settlements in Texas.


Community Development Clinic releases report recommending new approaches to assist tenants displaced by apartment redevelopment in Austin, will host panel discussion on October 26, 2012

The Community Development Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law has released a report examining the City of Austin’s ad hoc policy for dealing with tenant displacement issues in conjunction with the demolition of an apartment complex on East Riverside Drive last year that displaced more than five hundred low-income tenants. In order to better protect tenants who are displaced from future apartment demolitions, the report recommends the adoption of a uniform citywide tenant relocation ordinance with stronger enforcement mechanisms.


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Austin American-Statesman reports on work by Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center and LBJ School on “contracts for deed” in Texas

The work of Community Development Clinic Director Heather Way and Lucille Wood, a Research Fellow in the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, was featured in a recent article in the Austin American-Statesman. The article examines the recent release of a report, coauthored by Way and Wood with Professor Peter Ward, C.B. Smith Sr. Centennial Chair in U.S.-Mexico Relations and Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, examining the use and prevalence of “contracts for deed”—informal transactions for property that often have interest rates of as high as twenty percent—in Texas from 1989 to 2010.


56 students devote final week of winter break to pro bono work

Students and faculty members from the University of Texas at Austin will will fan out across the U.S.-Mexico border region during the second week in January to volunteer on a range of law-related projects, providing over 2,000 legal service hours for multiple organizations.


Justice Center sponsors conference to explore best practices for connecting affordable homes and public transit in the Austin area, October 21, 2011

“Housing + Transit: Connecting Affordable Homes to Transit-Oriented Development in the Austin Region,” a conference cosponsored by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, will take place on Friday, October 21, 2011. The conference will address strategies to link housing and transportation, ensuring equal access to both for people of all income levels.


William Wayne Justice Center to join the LBJ School of Public Affairs on contract for deed study in Texas colonias

The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law is joining the LBJ School of Public Affairs to undertake a major study for the Texas Legislature on the use of contracts for deed in Texas colonias. The study will focus on title issues, variations of contracts for deed, and abuses during the sale of property in these communities. It will also examine wider issues of title irregularity as these emerge through informal land sales, subdivision, and intestate inheritance.


The City of Austin’s demographer to discuss U.S. Census data on opportunity in Austin, April 14, 2011

Ryan Robinson, the City of Austin’s Demographer, will present his analysis of the latest U.S. Census data for Austin and what it means for historically disadvantaged groups in the region. Robinson will explore current and future trends caused by Austin’s rapidly changing demographics and population growth patterns, including how the poor continue to fall behind. The session, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the Law School on Thursday, April 14, 2011, from 12:30 p.m.–1:30 pm in the Sheffield Room (TNH 2.111).


Fair housing conference to address recent legal developments

“Race, Place, and Fair Housing in Texas: A Statewide Conference” will be held at the University of Texas School of Law on October 15, 2010. The conference will bring together top national experts and leading local practitioners to discuss how recent legal developments affect Texas cities’ obligations to create inclusive housing opportunities for persons of color.