FOR RELEASE ON FEBRUARY 6TH, 2018, 10:30am
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 6th 10:30 AM
LOCATION: 4310 Mallow Street Houston, Texas 77033
New report from UT uncovers egregious problems with City of Houston programs for addressing dangerous apartment conditions
A new report by researchers at the University of Texas School of Law Entrepreneurship and Community Development
Clinic finds that the City of Houston’s apartment safety programs are in disarray and urgent need of reform.
These findings and more will be discussed at a press conference on February 6th at 10:30am in the Sunnyside neighborhood at Daily Living Church (4310 Mallow Street). The press conference is hosted by community leaders in Sunnyside and the policy advocacy organization Texas Housers.
The report, “Out of Order: Houston’s Dangerous Apartment Epidemic,” is authored by Texas Law professor Heather Way and is the result of a months-long investigation into dangerous conditions at 10 apartment complexes in Sunnyside and the City of Houston’s apartment safety programs. Key findings from the report, include:
● Houston’s dysfunctional code enforcement programs have left tenants trapped in dangerous apartment conditions. In one case, tenants made 58 calls to the City to report dangerous conditions and not a single call resulted in an inspection by the City.
● 28% of Houston’s apartment complexes do not have an active Certificate of Occupancy.
“For decades, city leaders have been aware of Houston’s dangerous apartment epidemic,” said Heather Way, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law and author of the report, “but the City’s record of addressing these conditions has been grim. We found the City’s existing apartment safety programs to be extremely flawed, fractured, and improperly managed.” Chrishelle Palay, the Houston director for Texas Housers added, “we hope this press conference sparks a long overdue conversation between renters and the City of Houston about the right to safe, decent, and affordable housing that best suits the needs of low-income families.”
At the press conference, tenants from across the city (including members of Southwest Houston-based FIEL) will share their personal experiences reporting dangerous conditions to landlords and Houston 311. Executive summaries and limited copies of the report will be made available to interested outlets.
For information about the event: Zoe Middleton, Deputy Director of Communications, Texas Housers
(231) 250-3104, zoe. Maria Sosa, Organizer for FIEL Houston (281) 845-9510 msosa
For information about the report: Professor Heather K. Way, Director, University of Texas School of Law Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, (512) 632-1695, hway