Place matters and where a person lives is one of the greatest determinants of her/his ability to flourish and succeed.

The Equitable Development Initiative’s goal is to provide legal assistance to foster community revitalization in low-income neighborhoods by fighting systemic discrimination and degradation and by helping residents create safe, decent and equitable living spaces.  The Civil Rights Act and government agency rules and regulations are among the advocacy tools EDI uses to fight the inequities in the communities we serve.

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EDI is divided into three separate but interconnected components.

Community Advocacy

The team provides pro bono transactional business law representation, offers legal workshops and presentations on legal issues for small businesses, and collaborates with strategic partners to resolve complex and consistent community challenges.

Environmental Justice

The team focuses on the right to fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens and the right to equal protection from environmental hazards.

They engage in community outreach, education; relationship building; collaborative partnerships; legal support and transactional work for community organizations; advice and legal counsel to support self-advocacy; direct legal representation; and law student internships with Thurgood Marshall School of Law.  

Fair Housing

The team concentrates on the right to stay in decent and affordable housing within the community and the right to choose where to live via housing mobility. 

They take action to overcome historic patterns of segregation and discrimination, enforce affordable housing and habitability laws through administrative complaints/litigation, and develop and advocate for policies that help encourage and facilitate the construction of new housing in areas that offer opportunities for low-income individuals and families. 



Environmental Justice Resources


Air Alliance Houston, Caring for Pasadena Communities, Cleanups in My Community (EPA), Coalition for Environment, Equity, and Resilience, Coalition of Community Organizations, Concerned Citizens for Accountability, Environment Texas, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law Clinic of the University of Texas School of Law, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthHouston Area Urban LeagueNational Environmental Law CenterNational Resources Defense Council, Neighborhood Witness, Operation HOPE, Port Arthur Community Action Network, Public Citizen, South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy ServicesTexas Health and Environment Alliance, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service,  Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of LawThe Earl Carl Institute for Legal & Social Policy, Inc.UH Small Business Development Center,  and UT Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health.

This project is generously funded by Texas Access to Justice Foundation and  Houston Endowment.