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Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 2:59pm
The Housing Acquisition Corporation (HAC), a subsidiary of the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP), will provide apartments to some of the 10 families in Socorro displaced by the recent floods. According to the American Red Cross El Paso, 181 addresses in Socorro were affected by the flooding, 70 of which endured up to 3 feet of water and mud damage.
“As soon as we were contacted by the American Red Cross, the Housing Acquisition Corporation stepped up to the plate to explore every option on hand to help these families as soon as possible,” said Gerald Cichon, CEO of HACEP.
The first displaced Socorro family will move in to the Sitgraves Apartments today located at 10100 Hedgerow in East El Paso. Dale and Barbara Adams lived in their mobile home in Socorro for 32 years until September 11 when the flood waters inundated their home, washed away the flooring, and destroyed most of their possessions. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, Mr. Adams is grateful to all the people from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and HAC who are helping him and his wife through this difficult time. The Home Depot located on Rojas will also donate plywood for the Adams to use as make-shift flooring so that they can safely remove their remaining items and furniture.
“It feels great that after 10 years of trying to move to El Paso, we will finally do that today. We can’t wait to get into our new apartment,” said Mr. Adams.
The properties managed by HAC offer reduced rents through the federal tax credit program for families that earn 50 percent of the area median income, which is $25,250 for a family of four. In this respect, a family of four living in a two-bedroom tax credit unit will pay $483 per month in rent. These properties are not associated with the federally-funded public housing program and are available to anyone who wants to live there. Additional HAC properties with vacancies for the displaced families include:
• Western Burgundy, 815 Burgundy Drive 79907
• Western Yarbrough, 625 Yarbrough Drive 79915
• Villa Alegre, 6412 Edgemere 79925
This assistance comes at a most opportune moment as the shelter at Socorro High School that temporarily housed the displaced families closed this morning after 12 days of operation. For those families who will not relocate to El Paso, the American Red Cross El Paso will pay the costs to house them for a few nights at a local motel until stable housing arrangements are finalized.
“We’re excited to help these families and to help them recover and return to normal way of life as fast as they can,” said Mark Matthys, Executive Director of the American Red Cross El Paso.
Additional organizations that are assisting this effort include the Salvation Army that will provide vouchers worth $300 each to the 10 displaced families to purchase items in their thrift store. The Salvation Army has also provided the meals to the Socorro High School shelter. Also, the El Paso chapter of the Texas Baptist Men continues its “mud out” efforts where the volunteers remove tons of mud and debris from each affected property inside and out, cut out any damaged flooring and walls, and bleach the remaining structure to prevent mold growth.
Wednesday trucks from Goodwill and the Salvation Army will also transport clothing, toiletries, food, and building materials to the inundated Socorro neighborhoods.
For more information on this effort, log on to www.redcrosselpaso.org; if you would like to volunteer, send an email to Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster at email@example.com. Individuals who have experience with building, debris removal, and skilled trades like plumbing and electrical are most welcome additions to the recovery effort.