Volunteers Needed!

Austin Tenants Council is seeking spirited volunteers! We rely on volunteers to support our agency's administrative needs and to investigate housing discrimination. If you need to satisfy required volunteer hours, we will happily provide documented proof of your work. Please see below the volunteer opportunities currently available. 

 
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Telephone ADvocate

Austin Tenants’ Council, a community-based non-profit housing rights organization, seeks committed volunteers and interns to staff the telephone counseling line. Through ATC’s telephone counseling line, thousands of callers per year receive advice regarding issues they are having with their landlord or rental property.

The line is open Monday - Friday, 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Friday afternoons). Advocates receive extensive training and are asked to make a commitment of at least three hours a week, for at least six months. Advocates are required to undergo a background check as part of the application and interview process.

Requirements

  • No knowledge of housing issues or landlord/tenant law is required, and comprehensive training is provided.

  • Possess great phone skills and a dedication to client-centered service

  • Basic computer skills and proficiency in conversational Spanish are a plus.

Individuals with an interest in public policy, public affairs, or housing law may be especially interested in this opportunity, as would those interested in developing their community outreach, case management or counseling skills.

To inquire about becoming a telephone advocate, please send an email detailing your interest and availability to the Landlord-Tenant Programs Manager, Scott Rose, at scott@housing-rights.org.

 

Fair Housing tester

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Fight housing discrimination! The Austin Tenants’ Council needs your help in gathering information about housing practices in Austin. Volunteers are needed who can objectively gather and report information about the availability of housing.

Fair housing testing provides an objective means to determine whether prospective renters or buyers are treated differently in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Testers pose as prospective renters at local rental properties, and help us collect information on the lease terms, rent amounts, and other conditions being offered to prospective tenants. By comparing the information provided to several testers, we can identify cases in which discrimination may be occurring. 

Testers receive several hours of training and are supervised by our Fair Housing Testing Coordinator.  Testers receive a stipend for completed tests along with reimbursement for actual costs such as mileage.

Testing needs to occur during specific windows of time, but can be arranged on evenings or weekends, or as is convenient for your schedule. Testers are required to undergo a background check as part of the application and interview process

Read our brochure, What Is Fair Housing Testing?

To inquire about becoming a tester, please reach out to Giovanni Zamora by calling 512-474-7006 ext. 104 or email at giovanni@housing-rights.org.

 
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Cooperating attorney referral program

Through the ATC Cooperating Attorney Referral Program, hundreds of tenants in our community have received quality legal services from local attorneys who are dedicated to assisting low-income individuals and families in housing-related cases. ATC refers two types of cases to our participating attorneys: tenant-landlord complaints and Fair Housing Act discrimination cases.

To continue this crucial service to our community, ATC needs your help. We need attorneys interested in representing clients who allege to have been treated inappropriately under the Fair Housing Act or the Texas Property Code.

The ATC Cooperating Attorney Referral Program is not a pro bono referral listing. However, ATC asks that you do not charge clients an hourly fee, but obtain your payment from either a percentage of the recovery or any statutory attorney’s fees. Participation in the ATC Cooperating Attorney Referral Program does not commit you to take a case referred to you by ATC. It is always within your discretion to decline representation to a client referred to you.

For more details on participating in the Cooperating Attorney Referral Program, call Nekesha at 512-474-7006 or email at nekesha@housing-rights.org.

This service is certified as a lawyer referral service as required by the State of Texas under Chapter 952, Occupations Code.

 

Administrative Volunteer Opportunities

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We rely on volunteers to offer support with administrative items such as filing, data entry, preparing our newsletter, and copying educational brochures. Volunteers are also needed for the preparation of our quarterly newsletter for a bulk mailing distribution. Our newsletter is a significant publication providing essential educational information to tenants throughout Texas. No minimum time commitment is required, but any position that requires interaction with clients or with confidential information does require a background check.

To inquire about offering administrative support to the office, please reach out to our Office Manager Guillermo Garza, memo@housing-rights.org. To inquire about offering support with our quarterly newsletterplease reach out to our Landlord-Tenant Programs Manager, Scott Rose, at scott@housing-rights.org.

 

Other volunteer opportunites

If you have a talent or a special interest in some part of nonprofit work, we can put your skills to use! Examples include offering training in an area of expertise, assisting with special research projects, manual labor/moving office furniture, and outdoor landscaping. Let me know where your skills and experience lie, and we will find a volunteer role that puts them to use. To inquire about becoming a telephone advocate, please send an email detailing your interest and availability to the Landlord-Tenant Programs Manager, Scott Rose, at scott@housing-rights.org.