Putting People in Homes

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Homeownership in the Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley is alive and well, thanks to a partnership between the Community Development Corporation of South Texas (CDCST), Tejas Community Credit Opportunities Inc. and Amigos Del Valle Inc.

[Photo 1: House in progress]
House in progress.

The opportunity arose when Tejas Credit Opportunities Inc. and Amigos Del Valle Inc., each received a Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) grant but encountered difficulties in allocating their funding. Consequently, the projects stalled. To jump-start the projects, two San-Antonio HUD officials - Marinella Murrillo, Community Planning and Development (CPD) Representative, and Richard L. Lopez, Program Colonias Specialist Office of Departmental Operations and Coordination (ODOC) - facilitated a collaborative working session with local nonprofit leaders.

[Photo 2: House in progress]
House in progress.

Through this collaborative effort Richard and Marinella brokered a community-based strategy that prevented the recapture of RHED grant funds. The solution provided the opportunity for Tejas to provide long-term flexible financing while Amigos Del Valle provided principal reduction in the form of forgivable loans. The strategy also introduced CDCST as a joint lender and general contractor. This solution proved successful in deploying the RHED funds and increasing affordable housing opportunities in two rural Hidalgo communities.

The community-based strategy resulted in the following accomplishments:

  • CDCST constructed 23 new single-family homes in the rural communities of Elsa and Mercedes.
  • Tejas and CDCST originated below-market mortgages in excess of $2.1 million.
  • Tejas and CDCST leveraged over $745,000 in public and private financing.
  • CDCST and Amigos del Valle originated $160,000 in forgivable loans for principal reduction.
  • CDCST provided over 90 hours of homebuyer education and counseling.

Due to the collaborative effort of Richard and Marinella, local officials and community-based organizations funding was leveraged, and technical assistance was provided that resulted in 23 families to become new homeowners.

[Photo 3: Finished house]
A finished house.
Content Archived: September 09, 2009