July 26, 2012
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743
State housing agency awards $1 million to county improving housing, lives in colonias
(AUSTIN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) today announced that it has awarded a $1 million contract to Hidalgo County to continue funding operations of the county’s Colonia Self-Help Center, which promotes homeownership and self-sufficiency for residents living in four county colonias.
The contract will provide a wide range of technical and consumer assistance to an estimated 3,378 residents living in El Charro Subdivision #2, Colonia Lucero Del Norte Country View Estates, and both Indian Hills subdivisions I and II.
The Hidalgo County Self-Help Center, one of seven along the Texas-Mexico border, supports the efforts of local colonia residents to improve their own living standards while making the most of limited housing funds, according to Tim Irvine, TDHCA Executive Director.
“Too many generations of colonia households have been raised in poor housing conditions, and we have all been living with the consequences,” Irvine said. “Our Self-Help Centers provide residents the tools to improve the quality of their home which often leads to other benefits, such as higher health standards and increased economic opportunities, ultimately reducing the need for future assistance from the state.”
County officials will subcontract with a local nonprofit organization to operate the center. The contract calls for $987,460 to be used to help residents reconstruct nine homes, construct six new homes, substantially rehabilitate nine homes, and perform minor home repairs to another 42 homes.
The balance will be used to operate the Self-Help Center’s tool lending library in addition to helping meet its core administrative expenses.
TDHCA’s Colonia Self-Help Center Program is funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant Program to benefit households earning no more than 80 percent of the area median family income. For Hidalgo County, this equals an annual income of $39,450 for a family of four.
For more information regarding this program, please contact the county at (956) 787-8127 ext. 2255.
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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