Our first step to improving conditions at properties is talking to renters. Engaging renters in conversations helps identify common problems. We employ a variety of outreach techniques to connect with tenants at substandard properties and to figure out what issues are most important to them.
Outreach techniques include canvassing, one-on-one conversations, meetings, flyering, attending resource fairs, and conducting educational workshops.
One way we identify substandard properties is through the City of Austin's Repeat Offender Program, where rental properties with numerous health and safety complaints are registered.
Did your landlord make the list? Check out the map here. Then give us a call.
FORM AND DEVELOP TENANT ASSOCIATIONS
Part of our mission is creating solidarity in tenant communities by developing tenant associations. After initial outreach, our team organizes meetings where we bring neighbors together to discuss their common goals and the role collective action can play in achieving them.
Once formed, we work with tenant associations to build the association's membership, facilitate a culture of consensus-oriented decision-making, and develop the leadership skills necessary to sustain a tenant-led organization.
We help associations navigate the ups and downs inherent to this work. Keeping an inclusive tenant association active requires navigating the challenges of poverty, racism, and a culture of individualism. Organizers help tenant associations overcome these barriers.
STRATEGIZE TO IMPROVE
We work with tenant associations to choose the best tactics to achieve their desired outcomes and assist in the development and execution of their specific plans.
Our strategies include collecting and submitting written repair requests as a group; tenant association meetings with management, property owners and third parties; making group complaints to Austin Code; and legal advocacy.
We are constantly workshopping and improving methods while developing new strategies
EDUCATE ON TENANT RIGHTS
Knowing the protections and limitations of Texas landlord tenant law helps renters make informed decisions about their homes. We educate tenants about these rights at tenant meetings, community workshops, and resource fairs.
We use visual aids, participatory skits, interactive presentations, and games to talk about:
Evictions & Eviction Protections
TRAIN TENANT LEADERS
Our goal is to create sustainable and autonomous tenant associations by cultivating leadership in tenant communities.
We provide one-on-one guidance and group trainings in the following areas: outreach methods, facilitation techniques, negotiation strategy, campaign planning, and property research.
By developing leaders, tenants associations are equipped to more effectively advocate for themselves and their neighbors.
For more information on starting a tenant association with BASTA support, contact us!
BASTA is a non-profit project dedicated to helping Austin renters work together to improve the conditions of their homes and communities.