Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2010
Media Contact:
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743

State housing agency awards $240,000 to four South Texas organizations assisting low income residents

(AUSTIN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today awarded technical assistance grants totaling $240,000 to four nonprofit organizations helping colonia residents in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr counties improve their quality of life through a self-help housing program and allow the state to stretch limited housing resources.

TDHCA awarded $60,000 each to the Starr County Self-Help Center, Habitat of Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley, Architecture for Charity and The Care Center, which the Department anticipates will help a combined 24 households construct or significantly improve their home. Each organization may use the funds for training, mentoring, certification, and related travel expenses that increase capacity to increase affordable housing through self-help construction.

The grant was made in conjunction with TDHCA’s Texas Bootstrap Loan Program, a state initiative promoting homeownership by providing loan funds to eligible households purchasing or refinancing property on which to construct new housing or improve an existing home through “sweat equity.”

“The Texas Bootstrap Loan Program is one of the state’s most successful, cost-effective programs helping very low income residents achieve homeownership,” noted Michael Gerber, TDHCA Executive Director. “Colonia residents often face enormous obstacles just to meet the most basic of housing needs, and the grants announced today will significantly increase the capacity of our local partners to meet those needs.”

The organizations funded today are four of 44 Bootstrap program administrators throughout the state who provide the tools and training to households seeking to achieve homeownership. Administrators must be a certified, nonprofit operator of an owner-builder housing program, and participants must be willing to contribute 60 percent of the labor required to construct or rehabilitate their home.

The program is designed to assist colonia residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area median family income, which for Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr counties equals an annual income of $27,900 for a four-person household.

For more information about the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program, please visit the TDHCA website at www.tdhca.state.tx.us.

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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