U.S. Congress approved two community project funding requests submitted by Opportunity Home San Antonio, resulting in a total of $1.7 million in new federal funding for preservation of existing affordable housing.

The background

According to an April 2 news release, the approved funding requests will help preserve income-based housing stock in San Antonio. Officials with Opportunity Home San Antonio, formerly the San Antonio Housing Authority, said their agency received $850,000, secured by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, to help support preservation and rehabilitation of local affordable and workforce housing communities.

Opportunity Home also received $850,000, secured by U.S. Rep. Greg Casar’s office, D-Austin, for the Alazán-Apache expansion project on San Antonio’s west side.

Representatives for Opportunity Home said the money secured by Castro, specifically, will fund maintenance, renovations and critical repairs, identified through conducting a physical needs assessment, at Towering Oaks Apartments and Courtland Heights Apartments, both Opportunity Home properties on the northwest side.

The $850,000 federal grant secured by Casar will be used for the rehabilitation of the Alazán-Apache Courts as part of Opportunity Home’s efforts to revamp and expand San Antonio’s oldest public housing community.

San Antonio city officials have previously said they endorse efforts to build new affordable housing, and preserve and improve existing affordable residential units citywide.

What they’re saying

Opportunity Home President and CEO Ed Hinojosa Jr. said he and his colleagues appreciate efforts by both Congress members to secure federal money to continue supporting affordable housing projects locally.

“With the profound income-based housing shortage in the city and across the nation, these funds provide critical support in preserving housing for some of our communities in need of it the most,” Hinojosa said in a statement.

Castro said backing affordable housing efforts is key toward revitalizing San Antonio neighborhoods.

“Access to stable housing ensures that our community can participate in and contribute to a growing economy, and this funding will help more families be able to pursue their goals and dreams,” Castro said in a statement.

Casar echoed Castro’s sentiments, adding that enhancing existing affordable housing means economic development in the affected neighborhood.

“Congress must help with rising rents and costs in San Antonio, which is why we are bringing dollars to rehabilitate Alazán-Apache Courts,” Casar said in a statement. “With this $850,000 investment toward Alazán-Apache Courts, we will make sure working families can still afford to live on the west side in good housing with community services.”