Housing

The A/TCRRT strengthens partnerships with and between housing groups to reduce housing barriers for people with criminal histories. In 2010, in an effort to reduce fragmentation in housing planning for special populations, including the reentry population, the A/TCRRT merged its housing work with Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO). In 2016, we released Locked Out: Addressing Criminal History Barriers to Affordable Rental Housing in Austin & Travis County. To get involved, contact Housing Goal Leader Bree Williams.

Activities

Transition Planning for Homeless Persons Leaving Local Jails Initiative

The A/TCRRT and Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) partnered on the Transition Planning for Homeless Persons Leaving Local Jails Initiative in 2012 to develop recommendations for enhancing transition planning services for homeless persons leaving the Travis County Jail and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Travis Unit (Travis State Jail).  Phase 1 of the project (January-June 2012) focused on collecting information about what is currently happening on this issue, a best practices review, and a community stakeholder/partners consensus building on recommendations for enhancing these services.  A key findings report and recommendations were issues in September 2012 along with recommendations for specific actions to move toward implementation of the recommendations.  A two-year update to the recommended activities as well as other progress made on the recommendations will be issued in the fall of 2014.

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)

The A/TCRRT is a Full Partner in the Austin/Travis County Corporation for Supportive Housing Re-entry Initiative, which was responsible for researching and identifying strategies to expand PSH units to the reentry population in our community. In March 2010, the City of Austin adopted a resolution supporting the creation of 350 units of PSH. The reentry population is included in the City’s plan to develop PSH.

Local Advocacy

The A/TCRRT advocates for the inclusion of the reentry population in plans to establish or expand the availability of low-income housing.

  • Provided feedback to the City of Austin on the development of a Good Landlord Program.
  • Participated in City of Austin’s 2009 Impediments to Fair Housing Study resulting in the reentry population being considered as a target population to Fair Housing.
  • Advocated for a  policy change at the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department relative to Tenant Based Rental Assistance program and access to services by persons with criminal backgrounds.

Reentry Housing Needs Assessment

The A/TCRRT researched the housing needs of persons returning to Travis County from incarceration and those who had a criminal history to inform the development of strategies to improve housing resources and services for the reentry population.

Supporting Funding Opportunities

The A/TCRRT disperses information on funding opportunities and provides grant development and grant writing support.

  • Facilitated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Homeless Prevention & Case Management  “Right At Home” Pilot Application.

Keep Austin Affordable Campaign

  • On November 5th, 2013, Austinites voted in favor of a $65 million affordable housing bond proposal, with funds to be used to build new rental houses and apartments for families whose total income is 50% or less of median family income. With rising rents and occupancy rates at roughly 98%, it remains important to use all strategies available to help develop affordable housing, including permanent supportive housing. For more information, see the Keep Austin Affordable website and Facebook page, as well as A/TCRRT’s monthly housing reports.