Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2010
Media Contact:
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743

State housing agency awards $49,500 to CDC of Brownsville through new rural housing expansion program

(AUSTIN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. today announced a $49,500 award to help a local nonprofit housing organization access federal grant funds and enhance homeownership for low income residents in Cameron and Willacy counties. The award was among the first through a newly created program funded through TDHCA’s Housing Trust Fund designed to expand affordable housing in rural portions of the state.

The Department made the award to the Community Development Corporation (CDC) of Brownsville, a community housing development organization working to increase the supply of affordable housing and enhance homeownership opportunities for income eligible households in its service area.

The organization will use the grant to help package, submit, and close 33 rural housing loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Section 502 Loan Program. These federal loans may be used to construct, rehabilitate, or relocate homes in rural communities or to acquire sites for homes, including the installation of water and sewage facilities.

“Safe and affordable rural housing is a legislative priority for me because homeownership is the bedrock of a healthy, vibrant community,” explained Senator Lucio. “I am thrilled that this TDHCA - CDC Brownsville initiative will make homeownership a reality for more people.”

“TDHCA is committed to increasing housing choices in rural Texas,” said Michael Gerber, TDHCA Executive Director, “and we are excited about the potential of this new funding program to expand housing opportunities in small towns across the state. We are providing rural Texans and their housing partners the tools to increase affordable housing, which will help maintain the economic health of their communities while creating numerous construction jobs and related services.”

Funding for this award came through the Rural Housing Expansion Program, a new initiative that is part of TDHCA’s Housing Trust Fund.

The goal of the program is to increase the capacity of rural Texas communities to develop affordable housing by providing qualifying applicants capacity building resources and funds for direct housing delivery. By having a commitment of direct delivery funds, TDHCA believes the recipients would be better positioned to develop capacity through training, technical assistance, and hands-on experience.

Each organization receiving funds through the Rural Housing Expansion Program must undergo an intensive capacity assessment performed by a third-party technical assistance provider to be determined by TDHCA.

Based on the assessment, the technical assistance provider will identify a plan for each organization that covers what their capacity needs are and how to achieve them, and will provide some of the technical assistance skills to enhance capacity.

TDHCA’s Housing Trust Fund is Texas’ only state-funded program for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and new construction of affordable housing. Funds are awarded to rural cities and counties, nonprofits serving rural cities and counties, or consortia of several such entities.

The Department places a strong emphasis on allocating Housing Trust Fund awards to properties serving rural communities, elderly individuals, persons with disabilities, and extremely low income households. The Rural Housing Expansion Program is designed to serve households earning no more than 80 percent of the area median family income.

For more information regarding this award, please contact CDC of Brownsville at (956) 541-4955.

About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs administers a number of state and federal programs through for-profit, nonprofit, and local government partnerships to strengthen communities through affordable housing development, homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services for Texans in need.

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