Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities
Monday, July 12, 2019

Media Contact:
Kristina Tirloni (512) 475-4743

  • State housing program assists 1000th household
  • Modifies homes of low-income persons with disabilities
  • Program serves an average of 112 households per year

Editors: Please contact Kristina Tirloni for photos of today’s milestone event in Tyler, Texas

State celebrates milestone for home modification program serving low-income persons with disabilities

TDHCA completes 1000th home through Amy Young Barrier Removal Program

(AUSTIN) – The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) joined family members and Habitat for Humanity Smith County officials at the Tyler home of Robert Lee on Friday to celebrate the completion of rehabilitation work on his home through a unique state housing program serving low-income persons with disabilities. Lee’s was the 1000th household assisted by TDHCA through its Amy Young Barrier Removal Program (AYBR).

The AYBR Program provides a one-time grant of up to $20,000 per unit for home modifications aimed at improving the home’s accessibility for low-income persons with disabilities. Lee’s home is one of 100 households that has been served through Habitat for Humanity Smith County, an administrator of the AYBR program since its inception in 2010.

“Today marked a very special moment for TDHCA. It’s not every day that we get to see firsthand how our programs benefit families and communities, and we are grateful to the Lee family for allowing us the opportunity to share in this celebration,” said Diana Velez, TDHCA Amy Young Barrier Removal program administrator. “We are honored to be a part of this occasion and look forward to working with Habitat for Humanity on improving the living conditions for many other East Texans in the years to come.”

“This program has been so beneficial in allowing Habitat to complete critical repairs for low-income East Texans with disabilities so they can safely remain in their homes,” said Jack Wilson, CEO for Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. “We are so proud to be a recipient of this state housing program and hope we can continue to help more of our area residents who need help in addressing the inadequacies of their living environment.”

The AYBR Program uses a limited amount of state general revenue – approximately $3.4 million per two-year state funding cycle – to assist persons with disabilities earning less than 80 percent of the area median family income. An average of 112 households have been served each year since 2010. Funds are awarded to cities, counties, public housing authorities, and nonprofit organizations that work directly with low-income individuals at the local level.

Habitat for Humanity Smith County, which received a total of $372,842 in AYBR funding in 2018, used funds to demo and replace lower and upper kitchen cabinetry, install counter tops and new sink features, add new flooring to the kitchen and bathroom, as well as additional repairs to make Lee’s home more accessible and safe. Since 2010, Habitat for Humanity of Smith County has received more than $2 million through the program.

To learn more about the Amy Young Barrier Removal Program, or to find the program administrator nearest you, visit the program’s web page at https://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/htf/single-family/amy-young.htm.

About Habitat for Humanity of Smith County (HFHSC)
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that makes homeownership possible for low-income working families. The Smith County affiliate was formed in 1989. In the past 30 years, HFHSC has partnered with local volunteers and donors to build 107 homes. Through its home repair program, Habitat has completed over 900 critical repair projects, making it possible for veterans, seniors and the disabled to remain safely in their homes. For more information, call 903-595-6630 or visit smithcountyhabitat.org 

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. 

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