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Heather K. Way

Heather K. Way

  • Clinical Professor
  • Director - Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic

Faculty Profile: Heather K. Way

Main Profile Content

Biography

Heather K. Way directs the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, which delivers transactional legal assistance to small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups in Texas. Way's interests include analyzing and developing public policies that promote the creation of equitable and inclusive communities, with a focus on: affordable housing, gentrification, problem properties, land title issues, informal housing, housing preservation, and transit-oriented development. In addition, Way is the founder and steering committee member of the UT Opportunity Forum, an interdisciplinary collaborative of faculty at the University of Texas at Austin working on fostering equitable communities.

Way has worked in the fields of community development and affordable housing law since 1997, starting with a Skadden Fellowship at Legal Aid of Central Texas. While at Legal Aid, she founded Texas Community Building with Attorney Resources, a statewide project that provides legal education and pro bono legal assistance to CDCs and other nonprofit organizations. After graduating from UT Law, Way clerked for the Honorable William Wayne Justice of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Way is the 2014 recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Public Interest Award from Texas Law Fellowships. She is also the recipient of the Outstanding "Houser" Award from the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service and was recognized as an Austin Affordable Housing Hero by Interfaith Action of Central Texas. Back when she was young, Way was honored as the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the State Bar of Texas Young Lawyers Association, and one of the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the Texas Lawyer.

Courses for Fall 2017

View Course History

Professional Activities

2017

April 14, 2017

Presenter on "Strategies to Combat Substandard Rental Housing"

State Bar of Texas 2017 Poverty Law Conference

April 3, 2017

Presenter on "Fair Housing and Issues in Community Development"

Texas Association of Community Development Corporations Annual Conference

February 21, 2017

Quoted in Houston Chronicle

"Putting numbers on Houstn's demand for affordable housing," by Lydia DePhillis

February 20, 2017

Invited Panelist on Affordable Housing Priorities for Harris County and Houston

Houston and Harris County Housing Conversation Summit

2016

June 1, 2016

Quoted in article on PBS NewsHour's Rundown Blog

"Here's why low-income households may gamble with homeownership"

May 23, 2016

Presentation on "Healthy, Sustainable and Quality Communities" at Texas Access to Justice Foundation Meeting

May 10, 2016

Quoted in New York Times Article

"Contract for Deed Lending Gets Federal Scrutiny," by Matthew Goldstein and Alexandar Stevenson.

April 22, 2016

Moderator of Panel on "United Our Dividing City: Closing the Racial Wealth Gap"

LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas

February 20, 2016

Quoted in New York Times Article

"Market for Fixer-Uppers Traps Low-Income Buyers," by Matthew Goldstein and Alexandra Stevenson

February 19, 2016

Quoted in Austin American-Statesman Article

"Poor tenants vs. development: Case microcosm of changing East Austin," by Shonda Novak

2015

Fall 2015 to Spring 2016

Organizer of series of UT Opportunity Forum events on "Uniting Our Divided City"

As one of the most segregated cities in the U.S., Austin has a long history of inequity that has left deep divisions across many sectors of our community. How has the city reached this point, and what can be done to address these persistent divides? This Opportunity Forum series explored a number of issues related to Austin's racial and ethnic inequalities, including wealth divides, educational divides, and health disparities.

October 15, 2015

Roundtable Leader on "The Multiple Meanings of Blight: from injustice and social disorder to reclamation of vacant properties and urban regeneration"

Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Annual Conference

July 27, 2015

Quoted in Austin American-Statesman Article

"Report: Austin program to track, improve unsafe housing isn't enforced," by James Barragan and Lilly Rockwell

July 27, 2015

Quoted in KUT News Story

"Report Calls for Action on 'Repeat Offender' Properties"

Summer 2015

Report Co-Author

Co-Author of “An Analysis of Austin’s Repeat Offender Program and Efforts to Address Dangerous Rental Properties.” The report expands on the Clinic’s prior work in this area and outlines a number of policy recommendations to improve Austin’s programs for addressing dangerous properties.  The report follows a series of tragedies involving hazardous conditions at local rental properties, which have led to the displacement of dozens of low-income tenants, as well as deaths.

May 8, 2015

Presenter and Panelist, "Low-Income Homeowners and the Problem of Tangled Titles: Innovative Strategies to Secure Homeownership Assets," at the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference

April 2015

Speaker on "Legal Hot Topics in Community Development"

Texas Association of Community Development Corporations Annual Conference in Houston

April 2015

Op-Ed

Op-Ed Author, "Texas must do more to create inclusive affordable housing," published in the Austin American-Statesman and San Antonio Express News.

2013

August 13, 2013

Addressing Problem Properties: Legal and Policy Tools for a Safer Rundberg and Safer Austin

Report and Executive Summary: www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/workhighlights.php

2012

October 26, 2012

Opportunity Forum Gentrification Series: Protecting Tenants Displaced from Redevelopment Projects

LBJ School of Public Affairs

https://law.utexas.edu/opportunity-forum/events/gentrification-series-protecting-tenants-displaced-from-redevelopment-projects/

October 21, 2012

Informal contracts still put many Texas homeowners at risk, UT study shows

Austin American-Statesman

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/informal-contracts-still-put-many-Texas-homeowners/nSh5D/

September 12, 2012

Breakdown of Austin's 2012 Tax and Fee Increases

KUT

http://kut.org/2012/09/breakdown-of-austins-2012-tax-and-fee-increases/

August 31, 2012

Tenant Displacement in Austin

A Policy Report Analyzing the City of Austin's Tenant Relocation Policy at Shoreline Apartments with Recommendations for a City-Wide Policy Approach

http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/TENANT_DISPLACEMENT_IN_AUSTIN_Aug2012.pdf

August 31, 2012

The Contract for Deed Prevalence Project

A Final Report to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA)

https://law.utexas.edu/faculty/hway/stand-alone-executive-summary.pdf

March 22, 2012

Expanding Fair Housing Opportunities for Low-Income Minority Families

UT School of Law

Access Heather K. Way's PowerPoint presentation and video of the panel here.

February 2, 2012

Next Generation of Smart Growth: The Mueller Community

New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

https://law.utexas.edu/faculty/hway/next-generation-of-smart-growth.pdf

2011

October 1, 2011

LBJ School of Public Affairs and William Wayne Justice Center Collaborate on a ‘Contract for Deed’ Study in Texas Colonias

http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/news/2011/lbj-school-public-affairs-and-william-wayne-justice-center-c

April 30, 2011

Fair Housing Legal Toolkit for Permanent Supportive Housing Providers: Addressing Local Opposition to PSH Developments

Prepared by the Community Development Clinic

http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/Fair_Housing_Legal_Toolkit.pdf

January 31, 2011

Linking Transportation and Affordable Housing

Presentation for the City of Austin's Affordable Housing Forum

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/housing/downloads/way_utlaw.pdf

2010

August 31, 2010

Furthering Fair Housing Choices for Voucher Tenants: A Report for HousingWorks

A report written by the Community Development Clinic.

http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/Fair_Housing_Voucher_Tenants_sept2010.pdf

2009

November 30, 2009

Texas Problem Properties Toolkit: A Resource to Help Texas Communities Address Problems Created by Abandoned and Vacant Properties, 2010 Edition

A toolkit created by the Community Development Clinic.

http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/ProblemPropertiesTexasToolkit10web.pdf

September 16, 2009

Expanding the San Antonio Toolkit to Create Sustainable & Affordable Housing Opportunities: Models from Austin and Beyond

San Antonio Community Development Summit

https://law.utexas.edu/faculty/hway/expanding-the_san_antonio_toolkit.pdf

May 20, 2009

The Texas Two-Step: Local Resources and Regulations that Increase Affordable Housing

American Bar Association, Forum on Housing and Community Development Law, 18th Annual Conference:

http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/The_Texas_Two-Step_Local_Resources_and_Regulations_that_Increase_Affordable_Housing.pdf

2007

November 30, 2007

Building Hope: Tools for Transforming Abandoned and Blighted Properties into Community Assets: A Report on Dallas, Texas

A report prepared for Builders of Hope by the Community Development Clinic.

http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/buildersofhope.pdf

March 31, 2007

Preserving Austin's Multifamily Rental Housing: A Toolkit

A toolkit prepared for HousingWorks Austin by the Community Development Clinic.

http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/community/housingworkspaper.pdf