Housing Advocates Fight to Preserve Big Win in Corpus Christi’s Northside

Housing advocates say Corpus Christi hasn't kept a promise to help low-income residents — who won a major legal fight against the city in 2015 — relocate to safer areas.

News Story (Texas)

Patrick Michels
Texas Observer
October 12, 2016

Tags: Housing: Discrimination, Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)


Residents filed a federal civil rights complaint, which state and local officials settled in December 2015 by agreeing to spend up to $20 million to help people relocate. Homeowners will be offered buyouts, and renters, including folks in the 75-year-old D.N. Leathers public housing project, can get help renting apartments elsewhere. Attorneys with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) have proclaimed it a historic win for neighborhood desegregation and environmental justice, a rare opportunity to break the racial and class barriers that defined life in Hillcrest for so long.

Nearly a year later, though, attorneys say public housing residents are already getting funneled into other segregated neighborhoods, without a meaningful opportunity to explore new options. In late September, the Corpus Christi Housing Authority applied for federal approval to demolish the 122-unit Leathers complex, which sits alongside the path of the planned Harbor Bridge. The city told Leathers residents months ago that they’d have to move out — the city initially set an October 31 deadline, then extended it to mid-January.