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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about Rebuilding Together Austin, how to volunteer, and how to request services.

Have Other Questions? Call us at 512-993-8230.

 

General FAQs

What is Rebuilding Together Austin?

Rebuilding Together Austin (RTA) is a non-profit organization that provides critical health and safety home repairs to low-income homeowners. Our vision is a safe and healthy home for every person.

RTA is an affiliate of Rebuilding Together, Inc., a national non-profit organization with over 150 affiliates across the nation that provide critical home repairs to low-income homeowners in need.

who underwrites rebuilding together austin's work?

RTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Investments in RTA come from corporations, individuals, labor organizations, foundations, civic organizations, municipalities (in the form of grants and contracts), and congregations interested in helping build a better community for our neighbors.

 

Volunteer FAQs

how do i volunteer?

Please contact our office at 512-993-8230 or sign up online on the Volunteer page.

how old do i have to be to volunteer?

All volunteers must be 14 or older; volunteers who are under 14 need to be accompanied by an adult.

may i work even though i have some physical limitations?

Yes. Most projects contain a number of tasks that do not involve strenuous labor. Please advise the Volunteer Coordinator and on-site House Captain of your limitations upon arrival.

what does it cost?

There is no fee for individual volunteers.

For groups seeking to join a project as a company, there is a sponsorship fee. This fee funds our project and supports the costs of: building supplies, volunteer liability insurance, equipment rental, pre-construction costs, staff time, and general operating support.

what should i wear?

Footwear needs to be sturdy and closed-toe and closed-heel. Boots or sneakers are both considered appropriate footwear. You are not required to wear pants, but it is highly recommended. Please prepare for the weather by checking the forecast before you arrive at the work site. Bug spray will be provided on site.

is there any paperwork?

Yes. All volunteers will need to sign a waiver. This will be provided to you when you sign up online. You MUST agree to the waiver when you register online prior to working on a home.

 
 

Homeowner FAQs

how extensive are the repairs and upgrades to the home?

We focus on critical health and safety repairs related to the 7 principals of healthy housing: ensuring homeowners have a dry, clean, ventilated, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free and maintained place to live.

Our work on each home varies from depending on our funding source and available volunteers and or/contractors, but often include:

  • Yardwork
  • Exterior painting
  • Plumbing upgrades
  • Electrical repairs
  • Heating and cooling unit work
  • Roofing, windows, and door repairs
  • Safety modifications for people with disabilities

how do i get help with home repairs?

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for home repairs, please contact our office at 512-993-8230 to determine eligibility.

what is rta's service area?

RTA serves low income homeowners in Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties.

does rta work on rental properties?

As a general rule, RTA does not work on rental units. However, we do sometimes have funding sources that will allow us to make safety modifications to a rental home for a person with a disability. Repairs include walk in showers, ramps, grab bars and other accessibility repairs. The landlord is required to sign paperwork and be involved in the process.

how long does it take rta to complete a home?

The time needed for every project is based on what needs to be done to the home. On average it takes several months to complete the application, funding, and build of each home RTA completes.

 

 

what is the history of rebuilding together austin?

Rebuilding Together Austin was founded in September 2013 by executive director Cindy Lee.

  • 2014: RTA provided 15 homeowners with critical health and safety home repairs.
  • 2015: RTA provided 20 homeowners with critical home repairs.
  • 2016: RTA repaired 18 homes in addition to renovations at Kealing Middle School, thanks to a partnership with DPR Construction, Spotify and Mindpop.

In 2017, we have repaired 35 homes to date. We were able to serve more homeowners in 2017 due to an increase in government funding.

 

when can i volunteer? how long do i need to volunteer?

We assign individual volunteers to various projects as they become available throughout the year. The majority of our work is completed by group sponsored volunteer workday projects, though sometimes these groups need additional individual volunteers.

do i need to be an expert?

No! Volunteers with all levels of experience are invited to volunteer with us. However, if you are experienced, please indicate so on your waiver and inform your House Captain when you arrive on site.

what goes on at the worksite?

The scope of work on each home varies depending on the need of the home and the skill set of the volunteers. We focus primarily on critical health and safety repairs, which can include minor plumbing, electrical, carpentry, weatherization, painting, yard work, and general clean-up.

what should i bring?

We provide tools and supplies but please feel free to bring your own. Check in with your House Captain to determine the scope of work in order to know what to bring. Please label every tool with your name and phone number. We also provide food and water for the day for all volunteers.

what if the weather is bad?

In the case of inclement weather, we will reschedule the workday project. If we are not painting and only performing yard work, we work rain or shine.

what if i want to volunteer but i don't want to work on a home?

Our team is small and can always use additional help with our office-related work. Contact our office to find out more.

 

 

do homeowners pay for the services offered by rta?

All repairs are at no cost to the homeowner if they are eligible for our programs. Funding to cover the cost of materials comes from local businesses, government grants, individuals and foundations.

Homeowners and family members are asked to welcome volunteers into their homes and, if possible, work alongside the volunteers in the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor.

who is eligible for this program?

We provide repairs to all low-income homeowners, including seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and veterans.

Economic eligibility is based upon the income of everyone living in the home and must meet the 80% AMI standards. Call our office for more information at 512-993-8230. 

how do you decide who receives help and when it is provided?

RTA has a rigorous screening and project mapping process that enables us to make sound investments in our clients’ homes. We consider our clients’ needs, funding availability and labor availability to complete projects. Usually, our homeowners are helped on a first-come, first-served basis, pending availability of resources.

why am i asked to sign a release of information?

Your signature on the release of information form allows Rebuilding Together Austin to work collaboratively with other area agencies to provide the most effective and comprehensive services available to you.