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

Two Colonia Self-Help Centers receive $2.4 million contract awards

TDHCA has awarded $1.2 million in contracts each to Starr and Maverick counties made through the Department's Colonia Self-Help Centers (SHC) Program. The funding will help provide a wide range of housing related services to over 13,000 residents living in eight area colonias through their respective Self-Help Centers.

The Starr County Colonia Self-Help Center will use its grant award to rehabilitate 50 homes to bring them up to US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Colonia Housing Standards, provide 90 residents with plumbing skills, present construction skill training workshops for 100 residents, remove junked automobiles and other solid waste, and to perform community outreach in five colonias.

The Maverick County Colonia Self-Help Center expects to rehabilitate 22 homes to bring them up to HUD Colonia Housing Standards, assist 60 households with self-help home repairs, build 12 new homes, offer a wide range of technical assistance to 2,800 residents, provide title search assistance, remove junked automobiles and other solid waste, and to perform community outreach in three colonias.

The Colonia SHC Program was created by the Texas legislature in 1995 to assist very low income individuals and families finance, refinance, construct, improve, or maintain a safe, suitable home in a designated colonia service area.

In accordance with state law, the Department established self-help centers in Cameron/Willacy, El Paso, Hidalgo, Starr, and Webb counties. In 2001, TDHCA opened two additional Colonia Self-Help Centers serving Maverick and Val Verde counties to address the needs of colonia residents living in these locations.

Funding for TDHCA's Colonia Self-Help Centers comes from HUD's Community Development Block Grant Program allocation to the State of Texas.