BASTA - Building and Strengthening Tenant Action

Mission: 

BASTA (Building and Strengthening Tenant Action) is committed to helping Austin renters work with their neighbors to ensure that all Austinites have access to safe and affordable housing. The BASTA team supports low-income Austin residents’ through a variety of modes of advocacy, including education, litigation and empowerment strategies. BASTA works with renters to:

  • Form tenant associations
  • Facilitate meetings and trainings
  • Educate Austin tenants about their rights
  • Strategize to get landlords to address tenant concerns

Category: 

  • Tenant Organizing

Internship description: 

The duties and activities of the BASTA Community Organizing Internship include the following:

  • Support full-time organizers, as needed, in visiting substandard properties and educating residents on their legal right to live in healthy housing, the steps they can take to get the property owners to make repairs, and the effects slum housing has on their health.
  • Canvass door to door at new properties and/or existing tenant associations.
  • Calls to tenants to remind them about meetings, events, and actions.
  • Transport materials from office to meeting locations.
  • Help residents document substandard conditions and needed repairs.
  • Assist residents in requesting repairs, meeting with property managers, and reporting substandard conditions, as needed, to code enforcement. Monitor responsiveness and follow up as needed.
  • Document outreach activities and compile data to track outcomes and efficacy of the project.
  • Strategize with organizers and tenants on actions and event planning.
  • Participate in weekly BASTA team meetings for updates on properties, projects, and campaigns.
  • All other duties as assigned.

Internship skills needed: 

Required: 

  • Dedication to economic, gender, social and racial justice.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of people, including residents and property owners.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends.
  • Vehicle and driver’s license. 

Preferred: 

  • Knowledge of housing issues and/or landlord-tenant law.
  • Personal experience with low-income housing.
  • Previous community/grassroots organizing experience.
  • Ability to facilitate a group meeting.
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and willingness to develop additional skills.

Languages required: 

Spanish

Location: 

  • Austin, TX

How to find us: 

We are located in the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) Austin Office off of I-H 35 just north of downtown. We are near the Mueller area, which is a newly developed area in the city. Austin has CapMetro as public bus transit around the city.

Work hours: 

Ranging from 10AM - 10PM

Dress code: 

Casual

Office building accessibility: 

Yes

How many people work at the organization: 

6

Are there other interns at the organization during the summer: 

TBD

Internship dates: 

Flexible