Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
July 16, 2015
Media Contact:
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743
Public Inquiries: TDHCA Housing Resource Center: (512) 475-3976


  • State funds to assist five area colonias
  • Self-Help Center expected to assist 14,500 people
  • Program improves homes, provides consumer education

State housing agency provides additional $578,000 to improve colonia standards in Cameron and Willacy counties

(AUSTIN) — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (“TDHCA”) today announced it has awarded an additional $578,000 to the counties of Cameron and Willacy to continue funding operations of the Cameron/Willacy Counties Colonia Self-Help Center, a state-funded resource promoting homeownership and self-sufficiency for residents in five area colonias.

This funding will bolster the current $1 million contract the counties hold with the state housing agency for the center’s operations.

The contract provides a wide range of technical and consumer assistance to an estimated 14,556 residents living in the following colonias: Laguna Heights, Cameron Park, La Paloma, Sunny Skies, and La Sara.

The Cameron/Willacy Counties Colonia Self-Help Center, one of seven along the Texas-Mexico border, supports the efforts of colonia residents in both counties to improve their own living standards while making the most of limited housing funds.  

“The Department’s Self-Help Centers provide residents the skills and tools to improve their homes and communities through collaborative effort,” said TDHCA Executive Director Tim Irvine in announcing the contract. “Our state has a long history of working to better ourselves while offering a hand up to our neighbors in need. Together with counties of Cameron and Willacy, we look forward to continuing that tradition.”

County officials anticipate the funding will help build four homes, rehab nine homes, and reconstruct another 27 homes through self-help activities; operate the center’s tool library; and offer up to 22 consumer education classes.

The Colonia Self-Help Center Program is funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant Program ("CDBG") through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Texas Department of Agriculture, which receives the state’s CDBG allocation from the federal government, and TDHCA.

For more information, please contact the Brownsville Community Development Corporation, which has been contracted to administer the center, at (956) 541-4955.

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. 

- 30 -