Each of this report’s editors works in affordable housing, and each has a connection to cdcb. Cdcb, or come dream. come build., was founded in 1974 to provide safe, affordable housing options to low-income residents of the Rio Grande Valley. It is a community development corporation unlike any other in Texas, in part because of the range of services it provides in-house. In addition to developing affordable housing, cdcb offers free small dollar loans, financial coaching, pre-purchase and foreclosure prevention housing counseling, VITA [Volunteer Income Tax Assistance] tax preparation, and targeted savings opportunities to assist individuals in accessing tangible products and services that allow them to gain a strong household financial position and accumulate financial reserves. At cdcb many of an individual’s homeownership needs can be met under one roof by people who have knowledge and experience working in the region—a rare and valuable service in the world of affordable housing. And it’s also why cbcb appears many times in this report.
Here, we’ve asked Zoraima Díaz-Pineda of cdcb’s Financial Security program to reflect on the financial wellbeing of Brownsville residents. As others have elucidated, it’s not enough to know or point out that people are struggling or are unwell; we have to understand the root causes. —Lizzie MacWillie, Kelsey Menzel, Jesse Miller, and Josué Ramirez, Brownsville Undercurrents editors