WESLACO, Texas – Funding to help Rio Grande Valley communities with a population of 10,000 or less to cover their engineering and planning costs is now available. 

Funding from the same source is also available for low-income and colonia families who need to make home improvements.

Details on both pots of money were given out at a recent Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council meeting in Weslaco. Two representatives from Communities Unlimited – Juan Gonzalez and Michael Rivera – explained how the programs worked.

Communities Unlimited, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1976. According to its website it “connects people to solutions through human connections.” The website states: “Through ingenuity combined with cutting-edge technology and expertise, people are unwinding generations of inequity and disinvestment to build healthy businesses, healthy communities, healthy food systems, healthy bank accounts and healthy lives.”

Communities Unlimited serves seven states in the southern United States, an area with many rural communities, a high minority population, high poverty and food insecurity. 

“Where you live, what you look like or how much money you have should not determine access to opportunities. This is where we live. This is where we work. These are our communities. We work side by side with individuals, communities and organizations to make opportunities accessible to everyone, everywhere,” Communities Unlimited states.

Juan Gonzalez, is South Texas regional coordinator for Communities Unlimited. In his remarks to LRGVDC, Gonzalez promoted a program to help small communities with a population of 10,000 or less. With funding from USDA, such communities can get financial support to cover engineering and planning costs. Engineering companies can also apply, Gonzalez said.

Here is a video recording of Gonzalez’s remarks:


Michael Rivera is a loan officer for Communities Unlimited. In his remarks to LRGVDC, Rivera said that thanks for funding from USDA, low-income residents can get a $2,500 loan for home improvements, with an interest rate of six percent, paid back over two years. It is called the Nuestra Casa Home Improvement Loan program.

Here is a video recording of Rivera’s remarks:


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