Clinic Director Heather Way, clinic client, and clinic student.

Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic

Clinic students provide transactional business law representation to entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and community groups.  Our clients are strengthening their communities through job creation, the production and preservation of affordable housing, asset building strategies for low-income individuals, and the provision of innovative and valuable goods and services for their communities.

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Cases and Projects

Uprooted: Residential Displacement in Austin’s Gentrifying Neighborhoods and What Can Be Done About It

A new report by UT researchers identifies a wave of gentrification sweeping through Austin neighborhoods, displacing low-income African-American and Hispanic renters.

The study included an in-depth examination of anti-displacement policies used in gentrifying neighborhoods across the United States through the development of three case studies. The report also includes a framework for evaluating and comparing different policies.

Uprooted and the interactive gentrification and displacement maps were presented to the Austin City Council at its work session on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, and made available at the following link: https://sites.utexas.edu/gentrificationproject/.

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Out of Order: Houston’s Dangerous Apartment Epidemic

Authors: Heather K. Way and Carol Fraser, The University of Texas School of Law Entrepreneurship and Community Clinic

Houston is a city of renters, with more than 420,000 rental housing units and the third highest number of occupied apartments in the country. Many of these apartments, however, are unsafe and deteriorating. Following decades of weak building standards and feeble code enforcement, Houston is now in the midst of a dangerous apartment epidemic. The report explores the roots of the epidemic, investigates issues with the city’s existing apartment safety programs, and recommends strategies to improve the city’s programs and improve tenants’ housing conditions.

Our Taco House Cooperative

The Clinic has worked with the founders of Our Taco House Cooperative for two years, educating them about the requirements under Texas law for worker cooperatives and helping get them ready to launch their business. Our Taco House Cooperative is a worker-owned cooperative taco restaurant started by two former employees of a very popular Tex-Mex restaurant in East Austin. Our Taco House Cooperative will provide delicious, affordable tacos to Austin residents and will create jobs that enable workers to support themselves and own and govern their own business. The Clinic assisted the owners with creating a Texas Cooperative Association, including articles of incorporation and bylaws; prepared an employment manual; provided intellectual property counseling; and prepared other legal documents specific to worker cooperatives. Our Taco House Cooperative was recently featured in an article by the Austin Eater: https://austin.eater.com/2017/8/22/16180294/our-taco-house-co-op-tamale-house-3

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