Senator Lucio's Letterhead

PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. EDDIE LUCIO, JR.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2008
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez , Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385

Sen. Lucio Urges Affordable Housing Providers to Attend Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Workshop in Harlingen

AUSTIN, TX -- Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. is urging housing providers to participate in an August 26 workshop sponsored by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in Harlingen on a $9.2 million colonia housing initiative.

"I strongly urge all affordable housing providers serving rural areas of South Texas to attend this workshop so they can determine their eligibility and how to apply for the program," said Sen. Lucio. "The funds are provided by TDHCA through its Contract for Deed Conversion Program to help colonia residents achieve homeownership by converting their contracts for deed to conventional deeds of trust." Representatives from TDHCA will hold the application workshop from 9 a.m. to noon at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel at 501 South P Street in Harlingen. The workshop will focus on specific regulations and requirements that must be followed when applying for these funds.

"This program opens the door to homeownership and the promise of a better way of life for many of our most vulnerable neighbors," noted Sen. Lucio. "I am extremely concerned that many affordable housing providers who qualify will not take this opportunity to learn how to access this program."

Eligible applicants may include nonprofit housing organizations, city and county governments, and public housing authorities. Because the state's more populous cities and counties typically receive housing funds directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, TDHCA must award these funds to those rural areas of the state that do not receive any of these federal housing funds directly.

Sen. Lucio was instrumental in passing legislation during the 79th Legislative Session creating the Contract for Deed Conversion Program. The program is designed to assist colonia residents in becoming property owners by converting their contracts for deed into traditional mortgages. Once residents convert their contracts for deed, the program offers them the opportunity to rehabilitate their homes and raise them to Colonia Housing Standards.

Participants in this program must earn no more than 60 percent of the area median family income. Properties must be located in a colonia as identified by the Texas Water Development Board colonia list or meet TDHCA's definition of a colonia, and the property must be the resident's primary residence.

For more information about the Contract for Deed Conversion Program or the application workshop, please contact Terry Newman, TDHCA Senior Performance Specialist, at (512) 305-9259, or via e-mail at terry.newman@tdhca.state.tx.us.

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