Community Projects Organization Under State's Watch

The non-profit Cameron Willacy County Inc. will not continue to receive federal funds upfront

The non-profit Cameron Willacy County Inc. will not continue to receive federal funds upfront, due to discrepancies regarding project contract documentation, in a state audit earlier this year.

The CWCP gets federal funds disbursed by the Texas Department for Housing Communities. A TDCH spokesman confirms the organization has been placed on a reimbursement funding plan only for now meaning it will not get money in advance for projects

Instead, CWCP will have to provide the proper documentation for projects and contracts if they expect to be reimbursed. This is one measure the agency takes when there are questions about funds being properly expended and documented.

Cameron County Commissioner Sofia Benavides, also a CWCP board member, said she was not aware of the status change.

However, she said not having access to funds upfront for projects could hurt the thousands of community members the organization serves.

"It would probably be very hard for the agency to be able to do it that way, simply because right now funds are low everywhere," Benavides said.

Besides helping people get out of poverty and upgrade homes to make them more energy efficient and weather resistant, Benavides said, "during the summer time utility bills are really high|and (the organization) assists the low-income people with their utility bills."

Benavides adds the CWCP board meets every three months, and during their last meeting, she said Executive Director Amalia Garza explained the organization had been audited, but that everything had been cleared by the state.

TDHCA tells Action 4 they are working with CWCP to get the organization back to a standing where they can receive funds in advance once again.