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Filemon V.
Democrat TX 34

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  • Honoring the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville

    by Representative Filemon Vela

    Posted on 2015-09-11

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    VELA of texas in the house of representatives Friday, September 11, 2015 Mr. VELA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the important and meaningful work that the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville has carried out in the lower Rio Grande Valley over the past four decades.



    Since 1974, the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB), a 501(c) (3) community housing development organization, has been successfully working to utilize collaborative partnerships that create sustainable communities across the Rio Grande Valley. The partnerships have helped ensure quality education, model financing, efficient home design, and superior construction.

    CDCB is the largest non-profit producer of single family housing in Texas. In 2014, CDCB built 125-plus homes, assisted 178 families, created 375 jobs, and added $4.6 million to the local economy as well as $2.5 million in additional tax revenue.

    One of the CDCB's latest housing development projects, known as La Hacienda Casitas in Harlingen, Texas, was designed and constructed with the help of local contractors, non-profits, and businesses. This project adopted new construction designs that will work to mitigate flooding and erosion that all too often plague the area. La Hacienda Casitas is a model for housing programs across the nation.

    For more than 10 years, CDCB's YouthBuild program has been opening doors for 16- to 24-year-olds in Brownsville, Texas, helping them develop life skills and prepare for future careers. By providing opportunities in construction, community service, education and leadership development, the YouthBuild program is preparing students to excel and adapt to diverse workforce opportunities in their communities.

    The RAPIDO Project, a pioneering $2 million project funded by federal and state post-Hurricane Dolly funds, is a new approach to traditional disaster recovery housing. This project will help those who have lost their homes move into new ones in a matter of weeks, rather than living in a Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) trailer for an unknown period of time. The RAPIDO Project brings together architects, urban planners, developers and project managers, from throughout the state, in an effort to help redefine disaster recovery housing that is affordable and efficient.

    [[Page E1264]] In 2015, the CDCB was awarded the Energy Star Certified Homes Market Leader Award for 80 homes they built last year. The organization received the Maxwell Award of Excellence and the Federal Home Loan Bank System Community Partnership Award. CDCB has also been recognized with the State of Texas Housing Finance Special Achievement Award, and in 2013 the organization was awarded the Highest Cumulative kW Savings Award by American Electric Power Texas.

    In July 2013, CDCB became a member of the national Neighborworks Network, an organization focused on supporting housing organizations in bettering their communities.

    During the past 40 years, the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville has helped many families in the Rio Grande Valley achieve the American dream of owning a home. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to recognize the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville, led by Nick Mitchell-Bennett, for outstanding, innovative, and important work in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

    ____________________

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