City of Laredo Inaugurates New Offices for Municipal Housing

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LAREDO, Texas — The City of Laredo and the Community Development Department hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the new location of Municipal Housing. The MH program is now located at 5511 Thomas Avenue and consists of administrative offices and a warehouse in a 22,500 square feet facility.

Since 1976, the Municipal Housing program was established to provide the community with decent, safe, and affordable housing to the citizens of Laredo. Overall, MH manages a total of 619 units such as the Jose Flores Duplexes, Tomas Flores Apartments, Downtown Elderly Duplexes, Fernando Salinas Duplexes, Martha C. Narvaez City Hall Apartments, and The Airport’s Noise Abatement Single-family dwellings. The program provides a wide range of properties from studio apartments to 5-bedroom houses with rental rates that range from $361 to $1,592. Municipal Housing provides maintenance to the units including but not limited to plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning services. In addition, MH provides amenities such as refrigerators and stoves, and in some properties, laundry facilities.

The total investment of the new Municipal Housing office/warehouse construction amounted to $602,656.69. This project was initiated during the Fiscal Year 2017 and was funded by Municipal Housing operating enterprise funds. This building is now able to store building material, appliances, maintenance equipment, and tools that were previously housed throughout 5 different warehouses. The location offers ample parking space for visitors, customers, City-owned vehicles, and employees. 

Currently, the Community Development department is working on a Section 108 Loan to renovate the Southern Hotel to be managed by Municipal Housing, which will add 22 units to the inventory. Additionally, the department is working on potentially managing the Hamilton Hotel which includes 165 units.

Tina Martinez, Director of Community Development, explained that the division keeps working diligently to obtain or continue as a recipient of grants such as the AEP Weatherization Grant which consists of $120,000 to provide energy efficiency cost saving every year and this would be the third year receiving this grant. Additionally, Municipal Housing is a second-year recipient of the Texas Veterans Commission Grant with an amount of $250,000 for FY 20-21 and $250,000 for FY 21-22 for honorably discharged veterans, surviving spouses, and on-duty. Lastly, MH continues to partner with other Grant divisions such as CDBG/HOME Grants for the new construction and/or renovation of a City-owned building to provide 26 units with affordable rental housing for the elderly community.

And in an effort to continue offering the best and most convenient services to customers, Municipal Housing is doing research to implement a new software system to keep the best control, report, and expense accounting of inventory. Also, the department is looking at the possibility of offering online payments.

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