EDINBURG — The Fannie Mae Foundation presented The University of Texas-Pan American with a $500,000 check Friday (Feb. 5) as part of its University-Community Partnership Initiative (UCPI) to expand affordable housing opportunities for low to moderate income families in selected university communities.
“The Fannie Mae Foundation is committed to building creative partnerships and effectively leveraging resources among the private, public and nonprofit sectors for the benefit of distressed communities,” said Ann Marie Wheelock, Fannie Mae Foundation president and CEO. “The University-Community Partnership with The University of Texas-Pan American is part of our ongoing effort across the nation to transform communities.”
The half-million-dollar grant, which was presented by Anthony Tansimore, Fannie Mae Foundation vice president, to Roland Arriola, vice president-designate for external affairs at UTPA, will benefit the Homeownership Partnership and Empowerment Project (Project HOPE). This comprehensive, collaborative initiative is being led by the university to address the need for affordable housing in the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone of Hidalgo County.
“Project HOPE was developed in response to the needs voiced by community residents and public organizations,” Arriola said. “The Fannie Mae Foundation grant will help fund our efforts and increase access to affordable housing opportunities for low to moderate income families in the Rio Grande Valley.”
UTPA will work closely with six partners, the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone, Hidalgo County, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Valley Mortgage Company, International Bank of Commerce and the Housing Assistance Council, to address the need for affordable housing through the implementation of Project HOPE. The project will provide community outreach, education and remote learning, housing nonprofit management assistance and research and evaluation.
The Foundation’s UCPI takes a two-pronged approach to achieving its goal of expanding affordable housing opportunities: first, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofit and other housing providers in housing development and housing-related service delivery for distressed communities, and second, to implement comprehensive community partnership projects in targeted neighborhoods with strong affordable housing production and rehabilitation components that can be replicated across the country. All partnership programs are expected to integrate technical assistance, education, training, research, and evaluation.
The Fannie Mae Foundation, a private nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., transforms communities through innovative partnerships and initiatives aimed at that revitalizing neighborhoods and creating affordable homeownership and housing opportunities across the country.
For more information on UCPI, contact Arriola at 956/381-3361.