WEBB COUNTY SELF-HELP CENTER

Office: 8116 Hwy 359  Laredo, TX 78043*
Phone (956) 728-1481 * Fax: (956) 728-1483

The Webb County Self-Help Center (SHC) was established in 1995, during the 74th Legislature which passed what is now known as Senate Bill 1509. Senate Bill 1509 required that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Office of Colonia Initiatives establish six (6) self-help centers in the counties of Cameron/Willacy, Hidalgo, Starr, Val Verde, Webb and El Paso. The purpose of establishing the self-help centers along these counties is to give concentrated attention to the abundance of “colonias” in these counties with sub-standard living conditions.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding, the Webb County Self-Help Center is under the direction of the Community Action Agency and the Economic Development Department. The overall goal of the Webb County SHC is the transformation of colonias into conventional neighborhoods with the provision of safe, decent and sanitary living conditions.

Webb County is required to identify five (5) colonias known as the target area that will receive concentrated attention from the SHC program. The five (5) identified colonia’s for Webb County are located along State Highway 359. These colonias include Los Altos, Tanquecitos I&II, San Carlos I&II, Ranchitos 359 East and D-5 Acres. The services provided to colonia residents of these targeted areas include housing and community development services, infrastructure improvements and outreach and educational services.

The following activities are currently being carried out by the Self-Help Center Program.

Tool Lending Library:

The SHC Tool Library is a library equipped with tools available to colonia residents to borrow at no cost to the resident. The tools must be used to improve the living condition of their home. The homeowner must follow the SHC Tool Library rules including returning all borrowed equipment in good condition and within the allotted time. Tools available at the SHC Tool Library include a variety basic tools, power tools and garden tools.

Small Home Repairs

This program will assist colonia residents residing within the SHC targeted area with construction materials to perform a home improvement project. The Self-Help Center Program will provide the construction materials and provide instructional construction classes for all participants of this program. The program requirements are income eligibility and other criteria. In addition, the homeowner must perform the improvement themselves. The Self-Help Center Tool Library is available for the eligible resident to borrow the necessary tools to perform the desired project at no cost to the resident.

Housing Rehabilitation:

This program will assist homeowners with the rehabilitation of their homes. This will alleviate overcrowding and sub-standard living conditions for eligible homeowners. Upon completion of the housing rehabilitation project, the home will meet TDHCA Colonia Housing Standards. Program requirements include income eligibility and other criteria.

New Construction:

This program will construct new homes for qualifying colonia residents. Program requirements include income eligibility and other criteria.

House to Line Connections:

This program will assist eligible homeowners with assistance to cover the cost associated with connections for first time water and sewer service recipients. Program requirements include income eligibility and other criteria.

Construction Classes:

The Self-Help Center Program provides colonia residents with instructional construction and tool safety classes. These classes are held regularly and are available to any resident within the targeted area.

Financial Literacy Classes:

The Self-Help Center provides colonia residents with instructional classes focused on financial literacy topics such as managing household budgets, identity theft prevention and managing a checking/savings account.

Clean-Up Campaigns:

The Self-Help Center Program provides periodic clean-up campaigns where residents are encouraged to clean-up their lots and dispose of unwanted items. Residents are informed of dates and requirements to participate in these campaigns.

Computer Lab:

The Self-Help Center Program has a computer lab equipped with 10 new computers complete with high speed internet access available for colonia residents to utilize for job searches, homework assignments, online college courses or research purposes. Computer literacy classes are offered monthly at no cost to Colonia residents.

Outreach:

The Self-Help Center Program distributes informational flyers to keep residents informed of ongoing and newly implemented activities. Additionally, monthly colonia meetings are held at the Self-Help Center facility and community service providers are invited to inform residents of available services in the community.

Self-Help Center Completed Projects

Project No. Funding Agency Grant Amount Start Date End Date Rehabs Complete Other 
Self-Help 716043 TDHCA 1,038,000 5/10/1997 5/9/1999 15 -
Self-Help 718003 TDHCA 1,111,000 5/10/1999 11/9/2002 - 52 Home Improvements
HUD Colonia Initiatives HUD 509,000 3/23/2001 12/23/2002 30 6 Room Additions
Computer Donation HUD 54,000 4/23/2002 4/23/2003 - 25 computers
Neighborhood Initiatives  HUD 1,000,000 1/30/2001 1/29/2006 25 Rehab -
29 Plumbing Improvements
Self-Help 721003 TDHCA 1,057,000 11/10/2001 8/9/2004 - -
Owner Occupied 1000038 TDHCA  HOME 520,000 9/1/2003 8/31/2005 11 -
Self Help 724003  TDHCA    1.2 million 8/10/2004 10/31/2008 7 1 New Construction
14 Home Improvements
Self Help  728023
Ongoing Grant
TDHCA    1.2 million 12/18/2008 12/18/2012 10 Rehabs 4 New Home Improvements
2 New Construction 21 Water Connections

 

Tool Lending Library

The SHC Tool Library is a library equipped with tools available to colonia residents to borrow at no cost to the resident. The tools must be used to improve the living condition of their home. The homeowner must follow the SHC Tool Library rules including returning all borrowed equipment in good condition and within the allotted time. Tools available at the SHC Tool Library include a variety basic tools, power tools and garden tools.

                     

Small Home Repairs

This program assists colonia residents residing within the SHC targeted area with construction materials to perform a home improvement project. The Self-Help Center Program provides the construction materials and instructional construction classes for all participants of this program. The program requirements are income eligibility and other criteria. In addition, the homeowner must perform the improvement themselves. The Self-Help Center Tool Library is available for the eligible resident to borrow the necessary tools to perform the desired project at no cost to the resident.

                     

Rehabilitation

This program assists eligible homeowners with the rehabilitation of their homes. Upon completion of the housing rehabilitation project, the home will meet Colonia Housing Standards. Program requirements include income eligibility and other criteria.

                     

Reconstruction

This program assists eligible homeowners whose homes are beyond rehabilitation repair with the reconstruction of their homes. Upon completion of the housing rehabilitation project, the home will meet International Residential Code Standards. Program requirements include income eligibility and other criteria.

                     

New Construction

This program constructs new homes for qualifying colonia residents. Upon completion of the housing rehabilitation project, the home will meet International Residential Code Standards. Program requirements include income eligibility and other criteria.

                     

 

         

Construction Classes

The Self-Help Center Program provides colonia residents with instructional construction and tool safety classes. These classes are held regularly and are available to any resident within the targeted area.

                     

 

Financial Literacy Classes

The Self-Help Center provides colonia residents with instructional classes focused on financial literacy topics such as managing household budgets, identity theft prevention and managing a checking/savings account. These classes are held regularly and are available to any resident within the targeted area.

                     

Computer Literacy Classes

The Self-Help Center provides colonia residents with computer classes. These classes are held regularly and are available to any resident within the targeted area.

                     

Clean-Up Campaigns

The Self-Help Center Program provides periodic clean-up campaigns where residents are encouraged to clean-up their lots and dispose of unwanted items. Residents are informed of dates and requirements to participate in these campaigns.

                     

 

         

Self-Help Center Extended Hours of Operation:

The Self-Help Center is open every Wednesday until 7:00 P.M. & Every 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Webb County Footer