Episode 21: The stink of unequal sewage – Our advocacy co-director Lauren Loney speaks about the recent consent decree filed by City of Houston, EPA, and the TCEQ addressing Clean Water Act violations in the City’s waste water infrastructure, as well as our own public comments and pushback on the slow walk to environmental justice. Kristen Schlemmer from Bayou City Waterkeeper also joins the podcast to talk about what she’s learned with these sewage backups, and the groundswell to address these issues.
Episode 22: Creosote in Greater Fifth Ward – We speak with several of the people who have been working to fight for environmental justice in Fifth Ward, with regard to the creosote contamination, including Rodrigo Cantú of Lone Star Legal Aid, Sandra Small of Impact Greater 5th Ward, environmental scientist Dr. Jacqueline Smith, and our own research associate in Houston, Sophie Dulberg.
Episode 23: The Mandate to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing – Fair housing expert, civil rights attorney, and former HUD official Betsy Julian joins us to talk about how the mandate to affirmatively further fair housing has historically been ignored and how advocates have risen up to make sure the vision of an integrated, inclusive America is not forgotten.
Episode 24: Free Our People – Texas Housers talks to disability rights advocate and organizer Stephanie Thomas, with ADAPT of Texas to discuss how the fight for equitable public transportation in Texas led to a greater struggle for civil rights, community inclusion, and decent, accessible housing.
Episode 25: A Voice for San Antonio Renters – In San Antonio, a proposed commission of renters is seeking confirmation to advise the city on tenant issues and housing policy in order to provide a forum for tenants to voice their concerns and be represented in their city’s decision-making processes. We speak with tenants, city councilors, and supporters in their fight.
Episode 26: Don’t eat the toxic fish – Texas Housers talks to Josué Ramirez who helped lead a local campaign in the Rio Grande Valley to amplify the voices and concerns of residents and demand action on the chemicals in Donna Lake that was long overdue.
Episode 27: Addressing ‘The Gap’ for Low-Income Renters – John and Christina were joined this week by Andrew Aurand, Vice President for Research at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, to discuss their 2020 edition of the Gap Report. This deep study into the shortage for rental units for extremely low-income renters exposes some harsh realities for us here in the Lone Star State. Aurand also offered what solutions are needed to help shorten this gap, including exercising local, state, and federal power to help our most vulnerable community members.
Episode 28: The COVID-19 housing crisis – John and Christina are joined on this week by Shamus Roller, Executive Director of the National Housing Law Project to help sort through what moratoriums on evictions mean and what in the $2 trillion stimulus goes to housing. We are also joined by our community navigator Ericka Bowman, as she tells us what low-income families in Houston and Galveston are experiencing.
Episode 29: The trouble with PFCs – John and Christina are back for a new season of A Little Louder! This episode dives into public facility corporations and how they are not living up to their promise of providing affordable housing. Heather Way from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law joins us to talk about the ways PFCs are being exploited and her recent report on the issue.
Episode 30: Who is this housing for and where does it go? – Every year, Texas receives millions of dollars in tax credits to help developers build affordable housing. It’s big money and a highly competitive process. The formula that decides who gets the federal subsidies in Texas is called the Qualified Allocation Plan, which is drafted by our state housing agency, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. We speak with Texas Houser Elizabeth Roehm to break down what’s new in the 2021 proposed QAP and challenge some new proposed rules that could curb opportunity for Texas tenants.