Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
May 10, 2011
Media Contact:
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743

State housing agency awards $1 million to
Starr County to improve colonia housing

(AUSTIN) — Recognizing that improving housing conditions in the state’s colonias can lead to improved health and economic standards for colonia residents, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today announced that it has awarded Starr County a $1 million contract to operate its Colonia Self-Help Center. 

The Starr County Self-Help Center (SHC) will serve an estimated 3,075 residents living in the Alto Bonito Heights, Mikes, Santa Cruz/North Santa Cruz/Santa Cruz Industrial Park, Los Barrera’s North & South, and Garceno colonias. The contract is the county’s fifth for the center’s operations and provides a wide range of housing related services designed to help qualifying households improve their own circumstances.

“By partnering with the county, the Department’s Self-Help Center provides colonia residents the tools and expertise to improve their homes and communities through sweat equity and collaborative effort,” noted TDHCA Executive Director Michael Gerber. “Our centers tap into the state’s great tradition of Texans helping themselves and one another, offering the promise of a better way of life for many of our most vulnerable neighborhoods. We are very proud of this initiative and look forward to continuing the strong relationship which we enjoy with Starr County.”

The contract will help the Self-Help Center provide 10 construction skills training classes, the delivery of solid waste services, small self-help home repairs for 45 households, the rehabilitation of another 30 homes, and homeownership assistance to six residents. The center also operates a tool lending library, access to new technology resources, and a host of other benefits to colonia residents.

The Colonia SHC Program helps provide technical assistance to eligible colonia residents in the areas of housing rehabilitation, new home construction, construction skills training, and many other housing related topics. Funding for the program is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Community Development Block Grant Program allocation to the State of Texas.

About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is committed to expanding fair housing choice and opportunities for Texans through the administration and funding of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services with the help of for-profits, nonprofits, and local governments. For more information about fair housing, funding opportunities, or services in your area, please visit www.tdhca.state.tx.us or the Learn about Fair Housing in Texas page. 

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