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Families and
Tierra del Sol Housing Corp. has spearheaded the building of numerous affordable
homes in Anthony, N.M., like the ones in the well-manicured development pictured here.

During the past 25 years,
Tierra del Sol has built more
than 1,200 affordable houses, not
counting dozens of multifamily
and senior housing developments,
for low-income residents throughout
New Mexico and Texas.

The Two Anthonys

Improving Rural Housing
1998 HMDA, CRA Data Online
Green Equity Housing

Without the efforts of Tierra del Sol
Housing Corp. and local citizens, chances
are good that people in Anthony, N.M., a
desert colonia 20 miles north of El Paso,
would live in substandard rental houses
scattered haphazardly along unlit dirt
roads. They would probably have no
drainage, running water or sewers.
Now, through Tierra del Sol’s leadership and partnership with the community,
sustained efforts spanning nearly 20 years
have translated into a sense of community,
where families own nice houses, know
their neighbors and navigate along paved
streets with adequate infrastructure. They
have made their yards bloom by planting
flowers, shrubs and trees and erecting
decorative fences. What’s more, their
mortgages are affordable.
Since 1980, Tierra del Sol, with help
from banks and other agencies, has
helped more than 300 families build their
own three- and four-bedroom homes in

Anthony, N.M., in a program that
requires homeowners to perform 65 percent of the construction—their sweat
equity. The nonprofit organization also
has built 24 rental houses for rural farmworkers and many scattered-site homes.
In total, almost half of the 700 to 800
houses in Anthony have come through
Tierra del Sol programs.
Despite the improvements, the community is still designated a colonia, a
term often associated with an unincorporated rural area with a limited tax base
and little or no infrastructure. Ironically,
just across the border is Anthony, Texas,
an incorporated town with enough of a
tax base to provide residents and businesses with complete infrastructure (see
story on page 4).
In Anthony, N.M., Tierra del Sol’s “selfhelp” houses are stark contrasts to the
types of structures normally found in
Continued on page 2


Lasting Impact
Continued from page 1

colonias, where most dwellings are generally constructed piecemeal without
electricity, plumbing and other basic
amenities. “Without Tierra del Sol, many
families would not have safe and secure
housing,” says Dona Ana County (N.M.)
Commissioner Eduardo Medina, whose
district includes Anthony.
Tierra del Sol began its presence in
Anthony, N.M., in the 1970s with a 109unit subdivision completed over five
years. Since that time, the organization
has provided leadership in the creation
of subdivisions ranging from 16 to 91
self-help houses.
In 1984, Tierra del Sol and the community took the first step toward bringing in utilities by working with a local
legislator and leaders of the Anthony
Water and Sanitation District.
This year, Tierra del Sol will begin
another self-help subdivision with 60
houses in Anthony, N.M.
“The development of Anthony, N.M.,
has been a long effort by many people
who have been persistent and dedicated,”
says Rose Garcia, Tierra del Sol’s executive director. The organization’s efforts
have proved so successful that other
housing developers are coming to the
Piecing Together the Puzzle
During the past 25 years, Tierra del
Sol has built more than 1,200 affordable
houses, not counting over 600 units of
multifamily and senior housing, for lowincome residents in New Mexico and
The Tierra Linda subdivision in
Anthony, N.M., is a prime example of
how groups and the community can
unite to solve housing and infrastructure
problems. Between 1992 and 1995, Tierra
del Sol, the U.S. Department of Agri-


culture’s Rural Development and the
Housing Assistance Council (HAC)
offered financing and technical assistance
to enable 85 of the subdivision’s families
to build their own homes, which they
bought for an average of $40,000.
The subdivision’s families, a third of
whom are farmworkers, earn between
$9,000 and $12,000 a year, which is at or
below 50 percent of the area’s median
income. Despite their low incomes, they
still can own homes because self-help
reduces labor costs and thus makes mortgages affordable. Rural Development
provided $1.6 million in permanent mortgages for 40 homes, most for 33 years
with interest rates ranging from 1 percent
to 7.75 percent. As household income

increases, the subsidy is reduced, says
Linda Ledesma, a manager with Rural
Development in Las Cruces, N.M.
For all the benefits, developments like
Tierra Linda require a partnership among
many organizations. For example, HAC, a
national nonprofit intermediary that has
helped build affordable housing in rural
America since 1971, provides Tierra del
Sol with critical predevelopment funding
and loans. “HAC has a long-standing
relationship with Tierra del Sol because
we recognize the group’s ability to get
quality houses built,” says John Frisk,
who directs the HAC loan division.
In 1991, Las Cruces’ First Federal
Bank, through the Federal Home Loan
Bank’s Affordable Housing Program, pro-

Socorro (left, holding her grandchild) and Isabel Bueno stand outside their Anthony, N.M.,
home, which they built through Tierra del Sol Housing Corp.


Did You Know. . .?

Fast Facts
The Tierra Linda subdivision in Anthony, N.M., about 20 miles north of El Paso, consists of 85 units of
affordable housing built with self-help construction methods. Homeowners are required to perform at least
65 percent of the work. The average sale price for each house is $40,000. The project started in 1992 and
concluded in 1995. The nonprofit Tierra del Sol Housing Corp. served as the developer, supervised construction and provided homeowner education.
Site development loan from Housing Assistance Council (for one year at
6.5 percent interest with option to renew)


Section 502 permanent loan from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural
Development for 40 single-family units (33-year mortgages ranging from
1 percent to 7.75 percent interest, based on income)

$1.6 million

Las Cruces’ First Federal Bank, through the Federal Home Loan Bank’s
Affordable Housing Program, provided funds to assist homeowners in
utility connection costs.


For more information:
Tierra del Sol Housing Corp.
(505) 541-0477

vided $90,000 to Tierra Linda families to
help with their utility connection costs.
Giving Hammers to Homeowners
Tierra del Sol seeks to empower lowincome people through self-help strategies like sweat equity construction.
Through the self-help program, Tierra del
Sol organizes families into work groups
to help build their homes. Ledesma says
that sweat equity translates into more
affordable loan payments, which allow
people like Isabel and Socorro Bueno to
buy their own home in Anthony, N.M.
For six straight months, the Buenos
harvested chili peppers, onions and
pecans in the fields all day and then
logged another 30-plus hours a week,
including Saturdays and Sundays, to
build their home. This year, the Buenos
will celebrate the 15th anniversary of

Online Access for
Conference Papers
Papers presented at the Federal
Reserve System conference on
Business Access to Capital and Credit
will be available online August 6.
The papers represent the latest
research on small business lending
and credit topics, including:
• CRA data on small business
• Access to credit for minorityowned businesses
• Microenterprise lending
• Credit scoring and securitization
of small business loans
To access the papers, go to the
Dallas Fed web site
and click on Community Affairs, Other

Brownsville Nonprofit
Receives Award

owning the four-bedroom house they
built through Tierra del Sol.
“We had pit latrines [at our farm rental
house], but now we have indoor bathrooms in our own home,” says Isabel
Bueno, who lived and worked on a farm
for 35 years until injuring his knee. “We
had to haul our water from a pump outside the house. We are very fortunate to
be living in our own house.”
The Buenos say they recognize a stable home environment improved the
opportunities for their children, five of
whom attended college and now work
in professional jobs. “We wouldn’t be
able to afford to rent a place as nice as
this house,” Isabel Bueno says. “And we
know all of our neighbors because we
worked side by side with them when we
built our house.” ◗

The Community Development
Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB) has
received the Fannie Mae Foundation’s
Maxwell Award of Excellence for its
Colonia Redevelopment Program.
CDCB created the program to help
families replace their dilapidated
homes in the colonias of Cameron
and Willacy counties for as little as
$83.33 a month. CDCB designs the
new homes, secures the financing,
services the loans and supervises the
contractors. To date, 98 homes are
either completed or under construction.

1998 HMDA, CRA Data Online
The data on 1998 mortgage lending activity required by the Home
Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)
and data on small farm and community development lending required by
the Community Reinvestment Act are
available on the Federal Financial
Institutions Examination Council web
sites and



Anthony, N.M., isn’t the only community benefiting from the sustained work
of the Tierra del Sol Housing Corp. So is
Anthony, Texas, located just across the
border about 20 miles north of El Paso.
Residents in Anthony, N.M., are getting affordable housing, and Anthony,
Texas, is getting a workforce made stable
by that housing. In an area where the
demand for a steady labor supply is
exploding, businesses in Anthony, Texas,
with its limited number of affordable
houses, are enjoying an influx of workers
from Anthony, N.M.
According to local officials, roughly 25
percent of the residents of Anthony,
N.M., work across the border in El Paso
or the other Anthony’s cannery, manufacturing facilities, state prison, water park
and other businesses. Officials in
Anthony, Texas, say they will continue
aggressively recruiting businesses.
And therein lies the paradoxical but
symbiotic relationship between the two
Anthonys, where the border between the
two states represents more than just a
line on a map. The majority of the area’s
people live in Anthony, N.M. (pop. 7,000
and growing), because property taxes are
about a third of those in the Texas
Anthony (pop. 3,300), according to county
The residents of Anthony, N.M., want
the area to stay unincorporated because
of the lower property tax rates. But being
unincorporated also means the community can provide nowhere near as much as
the Anthony in Texas. Despite the
numerous improvements in housing and
infrastructure spearheaded by Tierra del
Sol, Anthony, N.M., is still designated a
While most roads are paved, many
have little or no lighting. Protection is
provided by a volunteer fire department
and an already-stretched county sheriff’s
department. School classrooms are bursting at the seams. In fact, County
Commissioner Eduardo Medina, whose
district covers Anthony, N.M., says providing safe, sanitary housing in the area

The Two

Side by Side

is a constant struggle, one that he doesn’t
see ending anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the town of Anthony,
Texas, is incorporated and has enough of
a tax base to provide residents and businesses with water, sewer, paved and
lighted streets with curbs, and full-time
police and firefighters—amenities people
living in a town expect.
The town’s housing plan includes
restrictions governing the minimum
square footage on new housing and designated areas for manufactured housing.
By contrast, Anthony, N.M., which relies


on the county for services, became a
rural zoning district as recently as 1997.
In addition to gaining more local control
over zoning, residents hope the zoning
efforts will attract business development
similar to that forming the economic
base Anthony, Texas, has enjoyed.
But Rose Garcia, executive director of
Tierra del Sol, says tremendous housing
demands exist on both sides of the border. In the El Paso area alone, at least
30,000 additional units of affordable
housing are needed. Garcia says her
organization strives to balance the distribution of scarce housing resources with
serving local jurisdictions. The organization’s target market for the homes in
Anthony, N.M., is the people who work
on the farms in that area, although Tierra
del Sol does not turn away people who,
for example, live in Anthony, N.M., but
work in the other Anthony or even El
To help alleviate the housing crunch
on the Texas side, Tierra del Sol will
soon start a new self-help housing development in the Westway colonia (pop.
300), three miles east of Anthony, Texas.
Westway got water only two years ago,
and Tierra del Sol is helping colonia
leaders design a sewer system. Once the
Westway development is completed,
Anthony, Texas, will benefit from another
source of stable workers.
Despite the differences between the
two Anthonys, Art Franco, four-term
mayor of Anthony, Texas, says he takes
a team approach when he promotes
both communities, which are linked in
the minds of many local residents. “We
work together on various events and
projects,” Franco says. “We really don’t
see the boundaries between the two
towns.” ◗
Sal Estrada (left) and Rose
Garcia, leaders of Tierra del
Sol Housing Corp., study
plans for another self-help,
affordable housing
development for low-income

Building for
a Future
A volunteer with the American Institute for
Learning in Austin inspects drywall material
made from straw waste — the latest tool in
environmentally sound construction.

Financial institutions in Austin are
banking on a program that provides lowincome families with affordable houses,
helps at-risk students get diplomas and
protects the planet’s natural resources.
Give the 64 members of Austin’s
American Institute for Learning (AIL)
enough steel, straw waste and plastic
soda bottles and they will build some of
the city’s sturdiest, most energy-efficient
houses. Through an innovative program,
called YouthBuild, that takes a holistic
approach to making at-risk people selfsufficient, the members will build at least
20 of these environmentally friendly
houses this year. Since 1996, 56 units
have been completed under this program, using environmentally sound materials and building techniques.
“This is an excellent opportunity to
provide financial and technical assistance
to a program that is definitely benefiting
families and at-risk youth in our market,”
says Linda Walker, vice president of
Guaranty Federal Bank, one of several
financial institutions providing mortgage
loans for the homes.

members an opportunity to earn high
school diplomas or GEDs while preparing for employment, advanced training or
higher education. For a minimal living
stipend, health insurance and other benefits, the members/builders attend general
studies, construction and leadership classes and perform community service. Upon
graduation from the 12-month program,
each member receives a $4,700 college
scholarship from AmeriCorps.
The houses, which take four to six
months to complete, sell for about
$64,000 to families with incomes at or
below 50 percent of Austin’s median
income. Guaranty Federal originates
mortgage loans to qualified borrowers
and, through the Federal Home Loan
Bank’s Affordable Housing Program, provides $3,200 toward the down payment
and closing costs, as well as $1,600 to
defray a portion of the slightly higher
costs of green construction. Customers at
other mortgage companies can get down
payment assistance from the Texas
Department of Housing and Community
Affairs (TDHCA) and the city of Austin.

Preparing Young People for Life
The agency is dedicated to giving high
school dropouts and other underserved
youth aged 17 to 25 educational and job
training opportunities. AIL provides its

Going “Green”
Not only do families get affordable
homes, they also pay less for utilities
because of the environmental “green”
materials and building techniques. Utility

bills for the program’s pilot three-bedroom house were as much as 40 percent
lower than for neighboring houses built
at the same time.
During construction, members use 19
recycled or engineered products rather
than traditional materials. For example,
steel studs—not wooden ones—produced from recycled materials are used
in interior and exterior walls. The members also use a new product, made from
straw waste, for non-load-bearing interior
walls. The building material was developed through a cooperative effort with
ranchers in the Texas Panhandle, who
sell straw waste from their wheat fields as
a cash crop. The straw is compressed
between drywall paper as an alternative
to traditional stick-framed walls. The
installation process reduces labor costs by
combining the framing and drywalling
Also, instead of composition or wood
shingles, the houses have recycled metal
roofs—more expensive to install but lasting a lifetime. What’s more, plastic soda
bottles that would have packed landfills
are collected weekly in Austin’s recycling
program, shredded and reprocessed into
tough carpeting for the houses.
In addition to the Federal Home Loan
Bank, funding for the YouthBuild program comes from foundations and corporations, AmeriCorps, TDHCA, the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban
Development and the city of Austin.
AIL provides leadership and administers funding from TDHCA for building
programs similar to YouthBuild in
Brownsville, Levelland, Oltan, New
Waverly, San Antonio and Harlingen
under the Texas YouthWorks program.
Program leaders say their comprehensive
approach brings the goals of affordable
housing, education for at-risk people and
environmentally sensitive construction
methods under one roof—a roof that,
like the metal one, can last a lifetime.
For more information, contact the
American Institute for Learning, (512)
472-3395. ◗


American land is held in
trust, so it cannot be transferred to non-Indian ownership. Lenders are
understandably reluctant to
provide mortgages for property on which they cannot
Like Indian Country, the
Mississippi Delta
A Conversation with Moises Loza,
region is historically disadExecutive Director, Housing Assistance Council
vantaged. Poverty rates in
the Delta, which includes a
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC), a national nonprofit
large part of Louisiana, have
organization, has been helping local organizations build
exceeded the national rate
affordable housing in rural America since 1971. Perspectives
for decades and are almost
asked Moises Loza to discuss rural housing needs as well as
unbelievably high for some
resources HAC provides to rural housing development partners.
of the population. Sixty-five
percent of African-American
Based on HAC’s research, what is the
5 years old living in nonexample, research—including studies by
state of rural housing in Texas, New
metropolitan parts of the Delta are poor.
HAC and the Dallas Fed—describes the
Mexico and Louisiana?
Like colonias residents and Native
colonias as lacking basic amenities such
The most serious rural housing probAmericans, rural Delta residents live in
as water and sewage systems, decent
lems in these three states are housing
inadequate housing far too often and
housing, paved roads and standard mortaffordability and the special needs of three gage financing. These small unincorporated cannot obtain enough mortgage credit.
significant areas: colonias, Indian Country communities along the U.S.–Mexican
and the Lower Mississippi Delta region.
What resources can HAC provide to
border in Texas and New Mexico (as well
Housing affordability—the gap
bank and nonprofit partnerships
as Arizona and California) are occupied
between income and housing cost—is a
develop affordable housing in rural areas?
by mostly Hispanic residents, many of
notable and growing problem in both
In its 29th year in the affordable rural
whom have very low incomes. By one
rural and urban areas throughout the
calculation, the average annual income for housing business, HAC has a great deal
United States. Rural Texas, New Mexico
to offer, including special initiatives tarcolonia households in Texas is less than
and Louisiana are no exception. HAC’s
$7,000. Nevertheless, many families in the geted to the colonias, Indian Country and
analysis of census data has found that
the Lower Mississippi Delta.
colonias own their homes, although their
more than one-fifth of rural households
One HAC resource is loans. Since its
ownership relies on a contract for deed
in each of these states pay more than 30
the organization has been maksystem, which allows the seller to retain
percent of their income for housing.
ing low-cost, short-term seed loans to
title until the debt is fully paid and to
Rural homes are also disproportionately
local affordable rural housing developers
repossess the property for even a single
likely to suffer quality problems such as
for predevelopment costs such as site
missed payment.
incomplete plumbing. This is most eviacquisition and environmental testing.
Special needs are also evident for
dent in New Mexico, where rural areas
More products have been added over time,
Native Americans, who make up 9 percontain only 28 percent of all housing
including letters of credit and compensatcent of New Mexico’s population. More
units but 85 percent of the homes that
ing deposits to provide security for local
than half New Mexico’s Native American
lack complete plumbing. In Louisiana
lenders. More recently HAC has begun
rural residents have below-poverty
and Texas, rural homes are about twice
offering construction loans, as well as
incomes, and 34 percent—one of every
as likely as urban units to lack complete
loans to local or regional entities for
three—of their homes lack complete
relending to individuals. Where a complumbing, according to HAC’s census
Affordability and quality are probmercial lender and HAC are using the
data analysis. The ownership structure of
lems in the special-needs areas as well,
same property as collateral, HAC may
reservation land makes standard housing
complicated by infrastructure issues and
take a second position to enhance the
finance difficult, although for different
other factors unique to each area. For
lender’s security.
reasons than in colonias: most Native


Rural Housing


HAC’s technical assistance (TA) may
be less visible, but it is extremely useful.
Staff can do everything from listing
potential funding sources in a brief
phone call, to helping a local organization put together funding applications, to
negotiating ways for banks, nonprofits
and other players to work together. The
costs of HAC’s TA are covered by the
organization’s funding sources. Assistance
is not restricted to any specific set of
recipients among the many who strive to
meet rural low-income housing needs.
Much of HAC’s TA is provided
through its four regional offices, whose
staffs are particularly knowledgeable
about their areas’ needs and resources.
HAC also provides periodic regional
training sessions and sponsors a national
conference every few years. Several training sessions will be scheduled in the
colonias region during the next two
years. The next conference is being
planned for late 2000.
HAC provides additional resources in
the form of research and publications.
Other information services include the
HAC News, which is issued every two
weeks, free of charge, and provides news
about funding, programs, research findings
and the like. Rural Voices is a quarterly
magazine, also free, with longer articles
on rural housing and development topics.
HAC’s Rural Resource Center provides an
extensive library of published materials.
The organization’s web site helps make all
this information more widely available.
What strategies can be used to increase
affordable housing in rural communities?
Successful strategies begin in the
communities. Local residents know their
needs and how to meet them. Others,
such as HAC, can help build local capacity
to develop housing and can provide the
funding, but success is always driven by
local organizations.
Years ago, fewer nonlocal entities
were involved. Rural housing development relied heavily on a single funding
source: the Farmers Home Administration

(FmHA) of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA), which offered programs now administered by the USDA’s
Rural Housing Service (RHS) and Rural
Development. While these programs are
still essential, their funding has been
greatly reduced, and, at the same time,
new sources have appeared.
In 1999, therefore, the most important strategies are partnerships, community involvement and technical assistance,
so that all parties can work together productively. One constant across all efforts
remains the need for housing subsidy.
Affordable housing is possible when
assistance or strategies are present to
close the gap between the cost of decent
housing and the ability to pay for it.
Can you provide some examples?
One excellent model is the Tierra
Linda subdivision developed by Tierra
del Sol Housing Corp. and Housing and
Economic Rural Opportunity (see cover
story). HAC is proud to have worked
with Tierra del Sol since the mid-1970s.
In 1991 a HAC loan matched Affordable
Housing Program funding for acquisition
and development of the site for Tierra
Linda’s first 45 lots. In 1994 a second
HAC loan helped develop 40 more lots
for Phase II. While there is sometimes a
tendency to look for “innovative” solutions, Tierra Linda is an example of a

The most important
strategies are partnerships, community
and technical
so that all parties
can work together

time-tested model in rural areas—selfhelp subdivision development—that has
succeeded in the colonias, the Delta and
many other rural places. It involves a
combination of actors from all levels:
HAC, a national intermediary; the USDA,
which provided administrative funding
and low-interest mortgages; local banks
that provided down payment assistance
grants from the Federal Home Loan
Bank; local nonprofits that managed the
development process; local contractors;
and the homebuyers themselves, who
provided much of the labor in the construction of their homes.
In other situations, some of the same
partners can be effective in different
ways. In the Texas colonias, for example,
replacing existing contracts for deed with
traditional mortgages can increase the
security of residents’ ownership while at
the same time provide them with funds
for repairs and renovations. One good
example of this strategy is occurring in
El Paso County, where the state of Texas
has provided more than $1 million for
such loans in colonias with access to
public water. HAC is working with several
local partners to establish a similar program for people living in colonias without public water systems. Again, a
partnership is involved. The work of
managing the loans, counseling the families, inspecting the renovations and converting the deeds will be divided among
the county’s Community Development
Department, AYUDA Inc., the El Paso
Collaborative and the Cooperative
Extension Service of Texas A&M University.
To reduce costs, residents will help rehabilitate their own homes.
Joint efforts are important in providing housing credit in Indian Country as
well. For example, lenders can feel safe
about loans on Indian lands by obtaining
federal loan guarantees from programs
such as the Department of Housing and
Urban Development’s Section 184 program.
RHS/Rural Development loans also
Continued on back page




Can Cities Control Their Destiny?
Economic development approaches will be explored at an upcoming conference in San Antonio that will examine regional growth issues facing cities.
Economic development officials, city planners, economists and other experts in
regional growth will debate and discuss such topics as urban sprawl, taxation and


strategies to encourage growth.

Third Quarter 1999


August 20, 1999

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Community Affairs Office
P.O. Box 655906, Dallas, TX 75265-5906
(214) 922-5377

Omni San Antonio Hotel

Gloria Vasquez Brown

$95 by August 10, $125 thereafter

Vice President


San Antonio Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas


Rachel Peña, (210) 978-1663, or

Nancy C. Vickrey
Assistant Vice President and
Community Affairs Officer

Ariel D. Cisneros

Community Development Investments
This interagency symposium is designed to help financial institutions, com-

Senior Community Affairs Advisor

Shelia M. Watson

munity organizations and other community development groups better under-

Community Affairs Advisor

stand the accounting, regulatory and technical issues surrounding community

Toby Cook

development investments as defined by the CRA. Keynote speaker is Franklin

Community Affairs Specialist

Raines, president and CEO of Fannie Mae.

Publications Director: Kay Champagne
Writer: Steve Smith
Editors: Jennifer Afflerbach, Monica Reeves
Design: Gene Autry

September 28, 1999
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Dallas, Richmond
and San Francisco


The views expressed are those of the authors
and should not be attributed to the Federal Reserve
Bank of Dallas or the Federal Reserve System.
Articles may be reprinted on the condition
that the source is credited and a copy is provided
to the Community Affairs Office.
Internet web site:

(804) 697-8463 or (415) 974-2722 for registration information

Rural Housing
Continued from page 7

can be made more accessible on reservations and in other special-needs areas,
partly through educational efforts. For
example, for several years HAC has
worked in the Northwest with Native
American housing organizations and
Rural Development staff, providing outreach, technical assistance and training so
local packagers can help residents apply
for Rural Development loans and Rural
Development staff can understand the
needs and underwrite the loans. The

Northwest Areas Foundation supported
this project in its early years, and the
USDA funds it now. It provides a model
that can be repeated in other rural places
and with other populations; recently two
colonias in Texas have been added.
A different kind of assistance to local
organizations—technology—is one of
several tactics now being used in the
Lower Mississippi Delta. As one of more
than 30 organizations and government
entities participating in a regional strategy
called the Delta Compact, HAC has
received funding from the Fannie Mae

Foundation and the USDA for a Delta
technology project. This effort involves
assessing the computer needs of 24 local
nonprofits, then providing them with
hardware and Internet training.
While of course I am deeply committed to HAC’s work, it is also true that
HAC could not accomplish anything
without local housing organizations. In
reality, HAC’s role is to provide whatever
resources help rural communities help
For more information, contact HAC
at (202) 842-8600 or ◗