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The Forgotten Americans

Focus: Las Colonias


Focus: Las Colonias
Filmmaker's Journal
An Inside Look
A Colonia Experience
Build A Community  
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Despite a lack of basic water and sewer systems, paved roads, and safe and sanitary housing, colonias are the only housing option for more than 400,000 people in the United States. Affordable housing is difficult to come by in many border cities. This in combination with the development of new colonias that at first glance offer a cheap solution to housing needs has fueled the growth of these communities in suburban areas as well as remote rural locations. In El Paso, Texas alone, at least 20,000 additional units of affordable housing are needed, according to the Lower Valley Housing Authority. A preliminary report by the University of Texas estimates that by the year 2010, more than 700,000 additional people will need affordable housing on the Texas border if current trends continue.

Colonia families use a variety of material to build their homes including: wood, cinderblocks, cardboard, parts of mobile homes.

Income Infrastructure Housing Education
Health Problems Water and Waste Water how colonias developed

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