The Justice Center recently hosted an event at the Law School focused on the rise of evictions in Austin. “Evicted in Austin: From Housed to Homeless in 21 Days” brought together housing advocates, tenants, and elected officials to discuss the harsh realities of evictions and what allies can do to support renters facing eviction. The UT Opportunity Forum and Building and Strengthening Tenant Action (BASTA) partnered to bring the event, part of BASTA’s week-long series “The State of the Renters,” to campus.
Daniel Armendáriz, a housing advocate at the Austin Tenants Council, and Sophie Elsner, an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, provided framing remarks. A panel of experts then explored the scope, roots, and impacts of evictions, along with innovative approaches to help address Austin’s eviction crisis. Panelists included the Honorable Jeremy L. Brown, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 7, Place 1, Harris County; Stephen Frischmuth, steering committee member, Creek’s Edge Tenants Association; Jose Gonzalez, PATH – outreach and engagement specialist, Integral Care; the Honorable Raúl A González, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, Travis County; and Shoshana Krieger, project director, BASTA Austin.
“The number of formal and informal evictions is rising in Austin, with devastating impacts on renters and their families,” said Heather Way, Clinical Professor with the Law School’s Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, who moderated the panel. “It was important to shine a spotlight on this issue on campus.”