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					           Community Building with Attorney Resources • December 2000

           Austin Mayor
           Kirk Watson Kicks Off                                                           Texas C-BAR Links
           Texas C-BAR at Community                                                        16 Organizations with
           Development Block Party                                                         Attorneys in October
                                                                                           and November
              On October 4, Austin Mayor Kirk Watson joined community leaders,
           attorneys, and community-based nonprofit organizations for the kick-off            Texas C-BAR made its first referrals in
           celebration of Texas C-BAR at a community development block party.              October and November, linking together 16
           The party was held in front of a home recently built by Guadalupe               community-based nonprofits with volunteer
           Neighborhood Development Corporation (“GNDC”) and sold to a first-              attorneys. The types of assistance our volun-
           time home buyer. In its twenty-year history, GNDC has rehabilitated or          teer attorneys have provided include: drafting
           built more than ninety single-family homes and duplexes for rental and          option contracts, clearing title on vacant land,
           sale to first-time home buyers in the Guadalupe neighborhood in Austin.         drafting loan documents, drafting employ-
           In 1997, GNDC embarked on its most recent “urban infill” development            ment contracts, creating a subsidiary corpora-
           project, which involves the construction and sale of sixteen single-family      tion, and applying for nonprofit exempt sta-
           homes on vacant lots for first-time home buyers earning less than               tus. The organizations assisted through Texas
           $47,000. As part of the infill project, attorneys providing free legal assis-   C-BAR include community-based nonprofits
           tance for GNDC through Legal Aid of Central Texas have negotiated and           in Midland, Laredo, El Paso, Houston, Dallas,
                                                                    drafted construc-      Fort Worth, Austin, and Freer. Texas C-BAR
                                                                    tion loan agree-       wishes to thank the following law firms and
                                                                    ments, earnest         attorneys who have volunteered for Texas C-
                                                                    money contracts,       BAR as of December 1, 2000:
                                                                    and general con-
                                                                    tractor agreements.
                                                                                           Phillips Nazro, Vinson & Elkins
                                                                    The pro bono
                                                                                           Gail Weatherby, Vinson & Elkins
                                                                    work has been rec-
                                                                                           Frank Oliver, Law Offices of Frank Oliver
                                                                    ognized as an
                                                                                           Heather Ross, Vinson & Elkins
                                                                    essential compo-
                                                                                           Raymond Gray, Popp & Ikard
                                                                    nent in GNDC’s
                                                                                           Kirk White, Baker Botts
                                                                                           Samer Zabaneh, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison
                                                                    efforts. "
                                                                                           Karl Shakelford
                                                                                           Matt Baskind, Vinson & Elkins
Attorneys with Vinson & Elkins, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, and
                                                                                           Ellen Witt, Vinson & Elkins
Texas C-BAR join Mayor Watson at Texas C-BAR block party.
                                                                                           Shannon Turner, Vinson & Elkins
                                                                                           Beth Ann Dranguet, Vinson & Elkins
           The Texas C-BAR Bulletin is funded with the support of:                         Dennis Moore, Vinson & Elkins
                                                                                           Robert Kinney, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison
Letter from Texas C-BAR’s
Project Coordinator
   One of the most rewarding aspects of serving as the              such as safe drinking water, healthcare, jobs, education,
Project Coordinator for Texas C-BAR is getting to meet              transportation, and adequate housing for low-income resi-
with the individuals who are leading community-based                dents in the colonias in and around the historic communi-
nonprofits around the state. The stories of these individu-         ty of San Elizario. Since its formation in 1993, OPSE has
als and their work should be an inspiration for all of us.          coordinated the installation of 200 septic tanks and 363
As a direct result of their work, nonprofits across the state       gas connections, assisted 300 families in obtaining loans or
are doing amazing things in their communities: building             grants for home improvements, and rehabbed 40 homes.
affordable housing for low-income families, providing               OPSE’s current project is the development of four single-
down payment assistance to first-time home buyers, direct-          family homes using adobe bricks, for which OPSE received
ing neighborhood litter clean-ups, providing after-school           a $138,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection
day care and other programs for children, running work-             Agency as an innovative sustainable technology demonstra-
force development programs, and directing a wide array of           tion project.
other programs to better their communities.                            I have also been very impressed with the level of com-
   The people I have been fortunate to meet include leaders         mitment of transactional attorneys around the state and
of colonias in El Paso county, which I visited in October.          their enthusiasm for helping community-based nonprofits.
Many of the colonias resemble third-world conditions,               Without their support, we could not make this project
with substandard housing, no paved roads, no sewer, and             happen. I want to especially note the support of the Austin
no water. Despite what may at times seem like insur-                office of Vinson & Elkins, which has already taken eight
mountable challenges in improving the living conditions of          referrals through Texas C-BAR.
the colonias’ residents, people like Tony Araujo are dedi-             If you are not already a participant in Texas C-BAR,
cating their lives to bettering their communities. Tony             I hope you will join our efforts to help build Texas
works for the Organización Progresiva de San Elizario               communities by linking community-based nonprofits
(OPSE), whose mission is to address quality of life issues          with volunteer attorneys. "

                                                                                                       Heather K. Way
                                                           A substandard house in
                                                           El Paso County.

                            One of the adobe houses
                             built by Organización
                                  Progresiva de San
                            Elizario, a nonprofit in
                                    El Paso County.

Texas C-BAR                                                                           Snapshot:
Launches Web Site                                                                     Acres Home Community
                                                                                      Development Corporation
   Texas C-BAR recently launched its new web site at
The web site contains information about Texas C-BAR, including an on-line
application for our services and an attorney questionnaire for attorneys interest-
ed in volunteering. Attorneys can also access the Texas C-BAR resource center         “It has been so refreshing to be
online for sample forms and model documents for community development
transactional matters. Texas C-BAR staff is currently working on expanding the        able to do pro bono work in
resource center. If you are an attorney who has model documents that would            my practice area.”
benefit other volunteer attorneys working on Texas C-BAR matters, please
e-mail them to: "                                                                       Heather Ross,
                                                                                                         Vinson & Elkins Attorney
                                                                                                         and Texas C-Bar Volunteer

                                                                                         The Acres Homes Community
Having Problems with the                                                              Development Corporation (“Acres Home
                                                                                      CDC”) is one of the community-based non-
Acquisition of Vacant Lots?                                                           profits that a volunteer attorney has assisted
                                                                                      through Texas C-BAR. The Acres Home
  One of the most common problems that Community Development                          CDC was formed in 1990 to improve the
Corporations (CDCs) throughout the State have been communicating to Texas             social, economic, educational, and housing
C-BAR is their frustration with trying to purchase vacant inner-city lots that        conditions in the Acres Home community in
have clouded title. Section 34.015 of the Texas Property Tax Code was drafted         Houston. Since its formation, Acres Home
to provide a remedy by allowing for an alternate manner of sale of land to            has constructed and rehabilitated twenty-five
CDCs, but several CDCs have been reporting to us that they have been unable           single-family homes and has partnered with
to utilize this provision. In the next legislative session, housing advocates are     another agency in identifying more than 500
seeking to propose legislation to make this remedy easier to use by CDCs. If          homes occupied by seniors and the disabled
you are a CDC that has tried to utilize Section 34.015, whether successfully or       that are in need of repair. Heather Ross from
unsuccessfully, please contact us at, or 512-447-7707, ext. 370,      the Austin office of Vinson & Elkins assisted
and tell us about your experiences. "                                                 the Acres Home CDC in creating a personnel
                                                                                      policy and provided employment law advice
                                                                                      that will allow the nonprofit to add additional
                                                                                      staff and expand its capacity to build more
                                                                                      new homes for low-income, first-time home
Texas C-BAR Funders                                                                   buyers. “I am thrilled to be working with
                                                                                      Texas C-BAR,” says Heather, who is in the
   Legal Aid of Central Texas depends on donations and grants for the operation of
                                                                                      employment section of Vinson & Elkins. “It
its programs, including Texas C-BAR. If you are interested in contributing to Texas
C-BAR, donations should be sent to Legal Aid of Central Texas, c/o Texas C-BAR,       has been so refreshing to be able to do pro
2201 Post Road, Suite 104, Austin, Texas 78704.                                       bono work in my practice area.” "
   Legal Aid of Central Texas thanks the following for their generous donations and
in-kind support of Texas C-BAR’s programs:

Cornerstones ($20,000+):                    Friends (up to $999):
Texas Bar Foundation                        Vinson & Elkins

Partners ($10,000-$19,999):                 In-Kind Donations:
Sponsors ($5,000-$9,999):                   Roland Pantermuehl

Framers ($1,000-4,999):
Brobeck, Phleger, & Harrison, LLP

About Texas C-Bar                                   Texas C-BAR Advisory Board:
   Community Building with Attorney                 Sarah H. André                              Frank Oliver
                                                    Program Director                            Law Office of Frank Oliver, P.C.
Resources (“Texas C-BAR”) is a statewide pro        Enterprise Foundation
bono initiative for transactional attorneys.                                                    Veronica Rodriguez
                                                    Cynthia Bast                                Staff Attorney, Colonias Project
Texas C-BAR was founded in 2000 as a special
                                                    Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP                   Texas Rural Legal Aid
project of Legal Aid of Central Texas, in collab-
oration with the nine other legal services pro-     Mia Ford                                    Regina Rogoff
                                                    Executive Director                          Executive Director, Legal Aid
grams in Texas. Through Texas C-BAR, volun-         Texas Development Institute                 of Central Texas
teer attorneys provide free transactional legal
                                                    Eden Harrington                             Aric Short
assistance to community-based nonprofits pur-
                                                    Director, Public Interest Law Center        Vinson & Elkins, LLP
suing affordable housing initiatives and other      University of Texas School of Law
community development activities in low-                                                        Kathy Tyler
                                                    Michael C. Li                               Regional Program Manager
income neighborhoods. In accepting pro bono         Baker Botts, LLP                            McAuley Institute
referrals from Texas C-BAR, lawyers help these
                                                    Lloyd Lochridge                             Scott Way
nonprofits build communities and ultimately
                                                    McGinnis, Lochridge, & Kilgore, LLP         Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, LLP
better the lives of thousands of low-income
families throughout the state.                      Rudy Mata
                                                    Delgado Acosta Braden & Jones
   For more information about Texas C-BAR,
or to participate in our pro bono program,          J. Reymundo Ocañas
                                                    Executive Director
please contact the staff of Texas C-BAR at
                                                    Texas Association of Community
512-447-7707, ext. 370; email:                      Development Corporations; "

                                                                                           512/447-3940                fax:
                                                                                           512/447-7707, ext. 370      phone:
            Permit No. 2837
                                                                                           Austin, Texas 78704
              Austin, Texas                                                                2201 Post Road, Suite 104
              U.S. Postage
           Presorted Standard

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