Legal Services & Representation for Low Income Tenants

The City of Austin has partnered with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) (Web) to provide emergency eviction counseling, representation, and prevention services for low-income renters.

If you are a limited income renter or homeowner, visit their site to learn about the wide range of services that they provide.

Fair Housing Laws

Fair housing is a federally mandated right that prohibits discrimination in housing choice.

The Federal Fair Housing Act (Web) protects anyone from being limited in their housing choice based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender/sex, familial status and disability.

The City of Austin Fair Housing Ordinance (Web) protects all those in the categories of the Federal Fair Housing Act, and also includes: sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, student status and age. 

Discrimination in mortgage lending is also prohibited by the Federal Fair Housing Act. It is unlawful to engage in the following practices based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability:

  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan or set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

How to File a Housing Discrimination Complaint

Visit the City's Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office (Web) or call 512-974-3259 for more information on how the city enforces Austin's Fair Housing Ordinance and investigates complaints of housing discrimination. You may also filing a complaint about housing discrimination here.

Tenants' Rights

Travis County has numerous online resources (web) for tenants facing eviction, as do the county’s Justice of the Peace Precinct Offices.  The Travis County Sheriff’s Office provides a concise brochure for Evictions and Lease Terminations (PDF).  A more extensive description of tenant rights in Travis County can be found through the Travis County Law Library and Self-Help Center (Web). While not a substitute for consulting an attorney, the site provides easy-to-understand kits for appealing an eviction, filing appeal bonds, and the record expungement process.  

Austin Tenant's Council (Web) offers counseling to prepare for and understand the eviction process, including reviewing the notices a tenants has received and assisting tenants with preparing for court if necessary. 

View information on our city's Tenant Relocation Assistance program (Web) in the case that you may be facing eviction.