(AUSTIN) — This holiday season promises to be a healthier, happier one for as many as 1,018 area residents thanks to the assistance they received this year from the Hill Country Community Action Association. The agency today was recognized by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for expending 100 percent of its federal stimulus Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds to help transition low income individuals out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency, with the hope that the season’s help lasts a lifetime.
TDHCA contracts with Hill Country Community Action to administer the CSBG Program in Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, Milam, Mills, and San Saba counties. The organization received an additional $742,653 last year from the Department through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, commonly referred to as the economic stimulus package, which featured new guidelines that allowed the state to reach greater numbers of low income Texans.
The funds helped provide essential services to low income individuals that include childcare, health and educational services, housing, transportation, job training, drug and alcohol dependency classes, and a host of other programs designed to eliminate poverty and foster self-sufficiency.
All services were to be provided on or before September 30, 2010, under ARRA guidelines. In total, over 98,000 Texans across the state were assisted through ARRA CSBG funds.
"Eighteen months ago, TDHCA was given an extraordinary one-time opportunity to make a difference in the lives of thousands of low income Texans we otherwise may not have been able to reach," said TDHCA Executive Director Michael Gerber.
"With the help of our partners at Hill Country Community Action, I am extremely pleased to report that we expended all funds within the allotted timeframe and fulfilled our commitment to the nation’s taxpayers," he continued. "Far more important, however, are the individuals and families who are better off because of the helping hand they received from their local community action agency. They will be the lasting testament to the stimulus package."
TDHCA last year awarded a total of $47.6 million in ARRA CSBG funds to its network of 48 local and regional nonprofit organizations to assist low income Texans earning no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines in their efforts to achieve financial and personal independence. Texas leads the five most populous states in expenditure rate of ARRA CSBG funds.
About The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is the state agency responsible for affordable housing, community services, energy assistance, colonia housing programs, and disaster recovery housing programs. It currently administers over $3 billion through for-profit, nonprofit, and local government partnerships to deliver local housing and community-based opportunities and assistance to Texans in need.