Community Development

group photo

2017-present

Community Assistance Project

The Community Assistance Project, funded by a grant from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, provides community redevelopment assistance to legal aid attorneys and communities in Texas. Activities include training legal aid attorneys and communities, providing case support, coordinating information, and developing high-impact legal tools and analysis.

Michele Dickerson at podium

2011-present

UT Opportunity Forum

The Justice Center is a co-founder of the UT Opportunity Forum, an interdisciplinary collaboration of University of Texas at Austin faculty working to foster the expansion of equitable opportunities for low-income Texans. Its mission is to foster relationships and strategies to promote more vibrant and equitable cities in Texas, with a focus on affordable housing, community planning, economic development, education, and transportation.

Past Projects

House damaged by hurricane

2013-2014

Texas Title Project

An innovative two-year title-clearing project designed to provide low-income disaster survivors with the chance to move to higher opportunity neighborhoods, funded with a grant from the Texas General Land Office to assist survivors of Hurricanes Dolly and Ike. The project was part of a larger coordinated hurricane recovery program that included the participation of communities affected by the disasters, advocates for low-income survivors, and local, state, and federal agencies.

2012

Supportive Housing Project

The Justice Center, together with the UT Center for Disability Studies, worked with the Texas state housing finance and Medicaid agencies to develop innovative ways to support persons with disabilities in integrated housing opportunities through a new federal rental subsidy program. The initiative focused on persons with disabilities residing in Texas institutions who have extremely low incomes.

Lucy Wood with students

2011-2012

Contract for Deed Prevalence Study

The Justice Center and the LBJ School of Public Affairs completed a major study for the Texas Legislature on the use of contracts for deed in Texas colonias. The study estimated the number of outstanding contracts for deed and examined title irregularities associated with informal land sales and intestate inheritance. Faculty and students conducted more than 1300 in-person interviews with colonias residents in seven border counties and three counties in Central Texas.