Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

TDHCA Press Room


Spotlighting Community Action: CACOST

Click on the picture above to learn more about CACOST and its programs

Spotlighting Community Action: TDHCA and CACOST

TDHCA works hand-in-hand with community action groups and agencies to help improve living and health conditions for some of Texas’ poorest residents, believing that if the agencies aren’t successful, TDHCA isn’t successful.

“Success is about attacking the causes of poverty, serving clients and being compliant,” explained Michael DeYoung, TDHCA director of community affairs. “We’re seeing results and accomplishments with the Community Action Corporation of South Texas, whose staff embraces the challenges of their community and designs solutions for long-term sustainability.”

In Alice, TDHCA-administered funds support Community Action Corporation of South Texas’ (CACOST) efforts to combat teen pregnancy, health challenges, and homelessness within a 16-county area.

“The Community Services Block Grant money is what makes us a community action agency, and helps us build deep and meaningful relationships within our communities,” explained Ann Awalt, CACOST executive director. “Those funds serve as a springboard for getting other funding support to help identify and address our local challenges and needs.”

Federal funding, provided through TDHCA, has helped Awalt jumpstart programs such as their Teen Outreach Program, Senior Nutrition Program, Early Head Start programs, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. As the agency identifies community needs it is charged by CSBG guidelines to expand its resource base to address the challenges. Awalt described each program as working in tandem and providing a safety net for their residents and families.

“Community action is always a well-kept secret,” she added. “People don’t know all the services our agency has to offer, but we’re able to respond to evolving community needs because we’re responding through a multi-dimensional approach that makes a big impact overall.”

For example, she explained one family visited the School-Based Health Center for medical treatment for a child. The physician assistant discovered the family was living in a car, paid for two nights in a local motel and also referred the family to the agency’s CSBG case manager. After conducting an assessment and in-take, the CSBG case manger was able to locate affordable housing for the family and assist with emergency food and school clothes for the children. The family also received tires for their vehicle to help the parents obtain employment, and one child was enrolled in the Head Start Program. Their immediate needs were met, and now the family has the resources and the continuing community support to work toward reaching other goals.

In 2016, TDHCA provided $282,500 in Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds to CACOST. CSBG funds are a portion of CACOST total budget of more than $40 million.


News Releases

News releases are developed by the Communications and Marketing section of the Division of Policy and Public Affairs to publicize TDHCA program activities. These include application funding cycles, program grant awards, special events, board activities, and other relevant information.

Date Headline
04/03/2017 State housing agency recognizes Fair Housing Month;
encourages Texans to ‘know your rights’
12/06/2016 State housing agency enters into $10 million loan agreement to provide qualified homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance
07/29/2016 State housing agency’s $65.3 million tax credit allocation to expand housing options for income-eligible Texans
07/28/2016 State housing agency continues investment in Hidalgo County Self-Help initiatives
07/28/2016 State housing agency continues investment in Webb County Self-Help initiatives
06/24/2016 State housing agency, regional nonprofit to provide energy assistance program in nine East Texas counties
03/21/2016 State housing agency’s online homebuyer education tool takes the complexity out of home purchase process
02/05/2016 State housing agency’s $9.96 million to create affordable housing, expand housing choices for low-income Texans
11/19/2015 State housing agency’s $34.5 million package to fund upgrades for Grand Prairie affordable rental property
07/30/2015 State housing agency’s $63.5 million tax credit allocation to expand housing options for income-eligible Texans
07/30/2015 State housing agency’s $700,000 contract to improve living standards in five Starr County colonias
07/16/2015 State housing agency’s $1 million contract to improve living standards in five Maverick County colonias
07/16/2015 State housing agency provides additional $578,000 to improve colonia standards in Cameron and Willacy counties
02/27/2015 State housing agency to contribute to ambitious makeover of 1,590 units of El Paso public housing
01/21/2015 State housing agency’s $6.7 million financing package to expand affordable rental market in Rio Hondo