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Grant from Houston Methodist Will Enable South Texas Law to Keep Homes Within Families

Home Law School News Grant from Houston Methodist Will Enable South Texas Law to Keep Homes Within Families

South Texas College of Law Houston recently was awarded a social equity grant of $100,000 by Houston Methodist to help keep homes in families.  STCL Houston will do so by clearing title to the family home and planning for passing it to future generations.

This addresses a critical social determinant of health: access to affordable housing. 

“When families experience housing instability, it contributes to stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges,” said Catherine Green Burnett, vice president, associate dean for experiential education, and professor of law at South Texas Law. “This generous grant will allow our legal clinic attorneys and law students to help families gain clear ownership of their homes, which they may have lived in for multiple generations without officially transferring the property to the children or grandchildren. We are very grateful to Houston Methodist for their support of this important work.”

Having clear ownership of a home is critical in many instances. For example, “FEMA funds cannot be awarded if the person applying for assistance does not have proof of ownership of the damaged property,” Burnett said.

The funds from Houston Methodist will support a public interest attorney working with the Probate and Estate Planning Clinics to keep homes within families and help families access home equity and leverage state and federal assistance after disasters. The Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics within South Texas Law annually provide the Greater Houston community more than $2 million in pro bono legal assistance across roughly 20 different areas of law, including family law, immigration law, estate planning and probate, and many more.

Houston Methodist awarded nearly $4.5 million through its Houston Methodist Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Grant Program, supporting 44 organizations across the region. Now in its fourth year, the program supports community initiatives focused on addressing non-medical drivers of health that lead to health inequities experienced by social, racial and ethnic minorities — including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, veterans, senior citizens, the LGBTQIA community, individuals experiencing homelessness, foster youth, and more.

In 2024, Houston Methodist’s program will support more than 52,000 people in the community through 22 healthy neighborhood programs, 13 educational empowerment programs, and 12 economic programs. The Social Equity Grants cultivate employment and economic empowerment initiatives impacting racial and ethnic minorities.

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