“There are a lot of problems in the Rio Grande Valley that need attention,” said Roland Arriola, executive director for the Office of Center Operations and Community Services at UTPA, “but the number one problem right now is the lack of low-income housing.”
Arriola said the goal of the Fannie Mae program is to bring a national focus to current and potential roles of higher education institutions in housing and community development in urban America.
“We were going head to head with several hundred schools from across the nation to obtain this grant, and we were the only school from Texas to be selected,” Arriola said. “We have the opportunity to showcase what this university can do.”
UT Pan American was one of the top five recipients under the Fannie Mae Foundation’s $5 million national grant program on university community partnerships.
According to Arriola, the program will provide training and education to the general public on the process of purchasing a low-income home, and will also be renovating at least 164 substandard existing homes.
“Home ownership is one of the biggest needs we have here in the Valley,” Arriola said. “Part of the American dream is to own your own home, and this program is designed to help people achieve that dream.”
For more information on the program, contact Arriola at 956/381-3361.