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

State housing agency awards additional $49,600 to Webb 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 area residents, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today announced that it has awarded Webb County $49,613 in additional funds to further the operations of its Colonia Self-Help Center, which provides a wide range of housing related services designed to help qualifying households improve their own circumstances.

The award is in addition to the $1.2 million TDHCA awarded the county in 2008, helping the Webb County Self-Help Center (SHC) serve an additional 12 residents. The original contract was designed to assist 1,212 residents of the Los Altos, Tanquecitos I & II, San Carlos I & II, Ranchitos 359 East, and D-5 Acres colonias. The county contracts with the Laredo Community Action Council to administer the Center’s day-to-day operations.

“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,” said 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’re very proud of this initiative and look forward to continuing the strong relationship which we enjoy with Webb County.”

Gerber noted that the county met its first two expenditure thresholds and is ahead of schedule to meet its next threshold in June 2011, meaning it will have exceeded its contractual requirements yet continues to offer services.

“This supplemental funding is a direct result of Webb County’s ability to effectively and efficiently implement the Colonia Self Help Center Program,” he said. “We are extremely pleased to be able to provide this high performing partner with these additional funds and reach greater numbers of 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 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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