Category: What’s New

Announcing the Release of Locked Out: Addressing Criminal History Barriers to Affordable Rental Housing in Austin & Travis County Report

| October 17, 2016

When someone has been convicted of a crime and has paid their debt to society, then they ought to have an effective second chance in life. The ability to find housing is an indispensable part of that second chance. HUD Secretary Julián Castro

In 2015, the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable undertook the task of assessing the criminal background screening policies of local publicly subsidized housing. This report is the result of that research and it provides an overview of the Roundtable’s findings and recommendations to inform policymakers, housing industry professionals, and other community leaders in better protecting the fair housing rights and overcoming barriers to housing for persons with criminal backgrounds in Austin and Travis County.

The report reviews legal precedent and regulatory actions relating to fair housing for persons with criminal backgrounds, summarizes criminal background policies from area affordable housing properties, highlights promising practices, and recommends an approach and specific actions to move the local conversation forward.

Please review the report and join us in promoting housing policies that protect the fair housing rights of people with criminal records to ensure, in the words of HUD Secretary Julián Castro, that “families who pose no risk to community safety aren’t unduly punished.”

Read the full report here.

Reentry Roundtable New Leadership & Annual Report

| October 12, 2016
block_2We are happy to announce that we have a 2015/2016 Annual Report and new officers for the Roundtable! We would like to welcome the incoming officers in their new positions:
  • Helen Gaebler, JDUT School of Law – Chair
  • Melissa Orren, Community Representative – Vice-Chair
  • Sarah Pahl Worthington, MSSW, JD Texas RioGrande Legal Aid – Immediate Past Chair
  • Reggie Smith, Community Representative – Executive Committee Reentry Advocacy Project Representative
Thank you to those who served as officers this past year for your tireless work and commitment:
  • Laura Sovine, LMSW-AP, Austin Recovery – Immediate Past Chair
  • Sarah Pahl Worthington, MSSW, JD Texas RioGrande Legal Aid – Chair
  • Darwin Hamilton, Community Representative – Executive Committee Reentry Advocacy Project Representative
2015-16 was a pivotal year for the Roundtable. Make sure to check out the 2015/2016 Annual Report. We look forward to what’s to come for the Roundtable in 2016-17!