Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Texas Receives "Best Practices" Award for Colonia Program

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently honored Texas with a "Best Practices" award for program excellence in recognition of a program addressing housing needs in the impoverished Texas-Mexico border region.

TDHCA, the Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA), and the Texas Secretary of State's Office were recognized by HUD for the administration of the state's Colonia Self-Help Centers Program, a unique self-help initiative designed specifically for colonia residents facing high rates of poverty and severe substandard housing.

HUD cited the Centers for excellence in providing residents with on-site technical and consumer assistance that addresses housing, community development activities, infrastructure improvements, outreach and education. Each offers construction skills training, a tool lending library for self-help construction, housing finance services, credit and debt counseling, grant writing assistance, contract for deed conversion assistance, and a host of other services.

Colonia Self-Help Centers are located in Cameron/Willacy, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Maverick, Val Verde, and El Paso counties, serving 28 colonias. An estimated 2,000 colonias exist in the Texas-Mexico border region, with Texas having both the largest number of colonias and the largest colonia resident population in the country.