Tiara Brown

  • Hosted by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
  • Sponsored by Stinson Leonard Street LLP, The Family of Hyman Edelman
  • Service location Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Law school The University of Michigan Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Housing/Homelessness
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Tiara will maximize safe and affordable housing opportunities for Housing Choice Voucher holders, the majority of whom are persons of color and families, in the growing and prospering communities along the planned light rail line in the Twin Cities’ Southwest Corridor

Gaining access to opportunity is getting harder everyday due to the increasing refusal by housing providers to accept Housing Choice (“Section 8”) Vouchers. Low-income voucher holders often feel forced to live in certain areas because the neighborhoods with good schools and easier access to quality jobs do not accept the vouchers; thus, Housing Choice Voucher holders often lives in areas with higher levels of poverty.

The Southwest LRT, a proposed rail line connecting Minneapolis to the region’s southwest suburbs, holds potential to connect voucher holders to better schools and better jobs. However, complexes that are sited along the line are already choosing to stop accepting vouchers, anticipating the demand for housing close to transit. The time is ripe to examine this issue and develop new strategies to keep and expand housing choice.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Tiara:

  • Collected and analyzed data of changes in rental housing along the existing Twin Cities’ light rail lines
  • Collected national data regarding the utilization and mobilization of vouchers in comparable markets
  • Overlaid data with race data in comparable markets
  • Identified, meet with, and established agreements for coordinated work with staff of existing groups with related missions
  • Attended meetings and monitored national and local publications, minutes, and other sources of information relating to source of income protections and development along the Corridor
  • Provided direct representation in housing discrimination cases

Meet Other Fellows Like Tiara

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Eugene Chen

Host: New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

Sponsor: The Paul Rapoport Foundation

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Alex Matak

Host: National Homelessness Law Center

Sponsor: Buckley LLP

Current Fellow

Jason Bailey

Host: Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law

Sponsor: Norflet Progress Fund

Margaret Burgess

Host: Atlanta Legal Aid Society

Sponsor: Cox Enterprises, Eversheds Sutherland