Excerpt from a post by Neighborworks Capital
For 44 years, CDC of Brownsville (CDCB) has developed and invested in affordable single-family homes in Brownsville, Texas, which persistently has some of the highest poverty rates in the nation.
One-third of Brownsville’s residents live below the federal poverty line. In the rural areas, 90% of residents live below the poverty line, and the housing needs there are even more extreme. Some residents still do not have indoor plumbing.
Despite these conditions, Brownsville is in close proximity to job centers, and the residential communities are near commercial retail, social services, and parks, as well as several airports and Valley Baptist Medical Center, ranked one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. Those assets have made Brownsville a draw, combining immigration from the south and good weather bringing those from the north, increasing its population by 30 percent annually in recent years. This growth has caused a massive housing shortage, especially in areas of extreme poverty.
“The need is immense,” said Nick Mitchell-Bennett, Executive Director of CDCB. “The lack of affordable housing means the region can’t build them fast enough, and what is built fills up quickly. At the same time, without subsidies, many people here can’t afford what is built.”
Last year, CDCB served 900 first-time clients and over 3,000 returning clients.