County earns additional $500,000 from state housing agency to expand assistance to colonia residents

County earns additional $500,000 from state housing agency to expand assistance to colonia residents
MGN Online

POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 11:58am

UPDATED: Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 11:59am

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs announced a $500,000 supplemental award to El Paso County for use in operating its Colonia Self-Help Center, which promotes homeownership and self-sufficiency for low income residents living in five colonias.

TDHCA awarded the county additional funds for what the state housing agency deemed its successful performance under its current $1.2 million contract to operate the center. The county is entering the third year of a four-year contract.

“El Paso County has done a good job of expending the funds and meeting the goals it committed to in 2010,” said Tim Irvine, TDHCA Executive Director. “Given the county’s performance in administering its current contract and the availability of these funds, we made this supplemental award with confidence that the county will immediately put it to use and reach more colonia families in need.”

The El Paso Colonia Self-Help Center, one of seven along the Texas-Mexico border, supports the efforts of colonia residents to raise their own living standards while making the most of limited housing funds.

The center provides a wide range of technical and consumer assistance to nearly 9,000 residents living in the following colonias: Agua Dulce Units 1-5; Horizon Units 90, 91, and 94; El Paso Hills Units 1-4; Lakeway Estates Units 1-3; and Horizon View Estates Units 17, 20, 21, and 22.

County officials anticipate using the supplemental award, which came from unspent or recaptured 2012 funds, to help five households make small repairs to their homes, as well as the total reconstruction of four homes for which a rehab has been determined unfeasible. The remaining funds are expected to assist with solid waste removal activities at two specific sites.

The Colonia Self-Help Center Program is funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. The funds are administered through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Texas Department of Agriculture, which receives the state’s CDBG allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and TDHCA to operate the self-help centers.

For more information regarding this award, please contact El Paso County staff directly at (915) 834-8201.


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