by Congressman Ruben Hinojosa | Mar 04, 2014

Washington, D.C.--Today-- Congressmen Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) and Filemon Vela (TX-34) announced $1.6 million of the $2 million was awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to three nonprofit organizations, Accion Texas, Affordable Homes of South Texas, and the Community Resource Group Inc. This funding will directly impact colonias in our South Texas communities. Funding is provided by the Border Community Capital Initiative (Border Initiative).


"For decades, the dire living conditions experienced by residents in border colonias have flown under the federal radar," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "During a federal agency visit to McAllen in 2011, community leaders raised the need for greater federal coordination and funding priority for colonias, and the Obama Administration listened. The funds brought back to our communities through the Border Community Capital Initiative will help to improve housing, small business opportunities, and basic services. While this funding is just a first step toward a sustainable, quality standard of living within our colonias, the impact will be great and long-lasting. I congratulate the recipients, all of whom are upstanding organizations that contribute greatly to our communities. Together with Congressman Vela and other community leaders, I pledge to continue to raise awareness about the neglected conditions of the colonias at a federal level."




"I am pleased the Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Affordable Homes of South Texas with funds to improve living conditions in the Rio Grande Valley's colonias," said Congressman Vela.  "I applaud community-based organizations such as Affordable Homes of South Texas which assist low-income families find safe and reasonably-priced housing while strengthening our local economy."



The Border Initiative is a collaborative effort among three federal agencies - the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of the Treasury - Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) and the Department of Agriculture - Rural Development (USDA-RD). The Initiative's goal is to increase access to capital for affordable housing, business lending and community facilities in the chronically underserved and undercapitalized U.S./Mexico border region. Specifically, it will provide direct investment and technical assistance to community development lending and investing institutions that focus on affordable housing, small business and community facilities to benefit the residents of colonias.


The Border Initiative's involvement stems from discussions between community members and federal agency representatives at National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), 2011 Border Summit in McAllen. Grantees expect to leverage an additional $5.5 million from other public and private sources to increase investment in ‘colonias’ where there are few opportunities for businesses to access private capital.




HUD announced grants to the following organizations:



Grant Amount

Target Markets

Accion Texas

(San Antonio, TX)


87 eligible colonias spanning 12 border counties in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona

Affordable Homes of South Texas (McAllen, TX)


Colonias located in Hidalgo, Willacy, Cameron, El Paso, and Webb counties.

Community Resource Group, Inc. (Fayetteville, AR)


Colonias along Texas-Mexico Border to include Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy counties.

Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation

(Dona Ana Co., NM)


Colonias in Dona Ana and Luna Counties in New Mexico

International Sonoran Desert Alliance (Ajo, AZ)


Ajo colonia in Ajo, Arizona





 The grant funding announced today is part of the White House Rural Council. The Council was launched by President Obama in 2012 to help create jobs and expand opportunities in rural communities.