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The State CDBG colonias set-aside was authorized in 1990, under the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-625, Nov. 28, 1990) (the Act) and was made permanent by the Appropriations Act of 1997 (Pub L. 104-204, Sept. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 2887). Section 916 of the Act requires the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to set aside up to 10 percent of their annual CDBG allocations to be used for eligible activities that meet the needs of the colonias. The Act defines a colonia as any identifiable community (i.e., with defined boundaries) within 150 miles of the United States-Mexico border in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, that was in existence before November 28, 1990, excluding metropolitan statistical areas with populations exceeding one million.
In addition to being in existence before November 28, 1990, Section 916(e)(1)(C) requires a colonia to be "determined to be a colonia on the basis of objective criteria, including lack of potable water supply, lack of adequate sewage systems, and lack of decent, safe, and sanitary housing." This means that all three expressly named criteria be included in such list and that at least one of three be included in each instance. This determination should be made by the State or unit of general local government (UGLG). States using objective criteria, other than the three criteria statutorily provided, to designate a colonia, should discuss the criteria with their local CPD Field Office.
For more information about obtaining funding for specific colonias projects please contact the agency in your state that administers the CDBG colonias set-aside funds: