Community development lenders and investors might be eligible for $200,000 grants each from the departments of Agriculture, Treasury and HUD to replace some of the worst housing in the nation—worse than urban slums or some Indian reservations: It’s the “colonias” areas of the U.S. border with Mexico. Likely to be in rural areas or just outside big cities, the residents are largely Hispanic, mostly American citizens, with a cultural propensity to own land. Often sold by shady landowners who tend to confiscate the land if one payment is missed, the residents too frequently have no money for a house after acquiring the land, so the “homes” tend to be of leftover wood, tar paper, and other scrounged materials. In some instances there is no water or sewage hook-ups, providing a breeding ground for disease. In fact, NationalMortgageNews tells MHProNews, Bubonic plague has even been detected at some sites. The funding will be targeted for infrastructure and construction to provide healthful and safe conditions.
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