AUSTIN — Recognizing the importance of preserving affordable single family housing in rural Texas, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has announced a major funding award to repair or rebuild storm damaged homes in Baylor County, helping restoring life to normal for several area homeowners. The funds will help allow eligible households to make the necessary repairs and keep their home while providing much-needed economic benefits to the local construction industry.
TDHCA awarded Baylor County $500,000 in disaster recovery funds through a portion of the Department’s HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program designed to repair or replace homes owned and lived in by income eligible Texans. Through this partnership between state and county officials, the funds will help repair or rebuild an estimated 10 area homes.
“The residents of Baylor County took a cruel hit from nature last spring, and despite the infusion of federal funds, many residents are still struggling to make repairs,” said State Representative Rick Hardcastle. “I am pleased that TDHCA is providing these funds and helping these families rebuild their lives and their community.”
Tornadoes and torrential rains struck Baylor County in April 2007, resulting in severe wind damage and flooding in and around the county. Governor Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration shortly thereafter; the federal government followed with a disaster declaration in August of that year, making federal funds available to local officials. Once all available federal funds were expended, Baylor County was then eligible to apply for HOME Program funds through TDHCA.
“Preserving rural housing stock is important to TDHCA, especially after a natural disaster,” said Michael Gerber, Executive Director of TDHCA. “There are typically fewer housing choices in rural communities, and these home repair funds can help them remain viable. Repairing and rebuilding homes will also help generate local construction jobs and increase area employment opportunities. We recognize that these funds won’t help make the county whole again, but they should go a long ways towards helping restore the damage caused by these storms.”
The county will utilize $500,000 of the funds to rehabilitate or reconstruct 10 homes and apply the balance toward covering administrative costs as allowed under federal rules.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is the funding source for the HOME Program, and funds are designed to assist households at or below 80 percent of the area median family income. For Baylor County, this equals an annual income of $34,900 for a family for four.
Eligible applicants include qualifying units of local government, public housing authorities, Community Housing Development Organizations and other nonprofit groups, and qualifying for-profit organizations.
About The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is Texas’ lead agency responsible for affordable housing, community services, energy assistance, and colonia housing programs. The Department annually administers more than $400 million through for-profit, nonprofit, and local government partnerships to deliver local housing and community-based opportunities and assistance to Texans in need.