- Organization Name:Advocacy Resource Center for Housing
- Address:2507 Buddy Owens
McAllen, TX 78504
The Advocacy Resource Center for Housing (ARCH) promotes the creation and preservation of housing opportunities for low income individuals/families living in Hidalgo County, Texas through empowering educational services regarding tenant rights & leasing responsibilities, mediation and negotiation of landlord and tenant disputes, strategized case management to prevent homelessness, financial literacy capabilities to improve their financial condition and financial assistance to afford housing opportunities.
The face of the homeless is changing and today individuals of all walks of life are facing homelessness in record numbers. Rents are soaring and the availability of affordable housing and house hold income is dwindling. Venturing to own your home can also be risky, as an emergency, such as being laid off or falling victim to an illness can mean missing a home payment and suddenly find yourself in foreclosure. For those who rent it’s as simple as missing a rent payment to be evicted. The Advocacy Resource Center for Housing (ARCH) believes everyone deserves a dwelling to call home. Just imagine not having a place to rest, how this affects your morale, personal energy and your view of the future. After-all, at the end of a long hard day, home is the place where people reunite to regain hope, energy and a plan for tomorrow. Throughout Hidalgo County, the housing problems are mounting and ARCH has documented up-to three-hundred calls in one month, mostly from desperate persons seeking help in resolving a housing crisis or need. Our local public data also indicates people seeking permanent public housing opportunities are facing long waiting list that can take up-to a year to provide a housing opportunity. The Rio Grande Valley of South Texas is also one of the fastest growing regions in the country and Hidalgo County’s population currently stands at 797,810 (2012) a whopping increase of 23,041 in just two years. This growth is threatening to outstrip our existing local housing capacity. It’s also one of the poorest counties in the nation with a poverty rate of 35.3% (2012) versus 17% statewide. City-Data also shows that a poor family of three grossing $13,650 can NOT afford even our local Fair Market Rate (FMR) priced homes for going for $560 on a 1-bedroom, $660 on a 2-bedroom and $791 for a 3-bedroom apartment. These families are paying more than 50% of their income in rent leaving them little-to-none to pay utility bills and other essential costs. Other important fact is that 50.5% of Hidalgo County residents actually graduated from high school, compared to 75.7% statewide and only 13% graduated from college, compared to the 23.2% statewide. These facts have heighten the importance of education in our area and we want to concentrate educational effort in the area of financial literacy. Our financial world is becoming more and more complex; that if compared with that of a generation ago, a simple understanding of how to maintain a checking or saving account at a local bank, may have suffice. But today, our clients must differentiate between a wide range of financial products, services, and providers. A less-indebted generation ago may not have needed a comprehensive understanding of credit but as compound interest and mismanaged credit impacts our nation it has changed how finances are viewed. Many of our low income families find financial literacy a challenge. And we are seeking to make an impact in their lived with this funding. Looking at these insurmountable challenges, we hope to give you a glimpse of the magnitude of obstacles our poor Hidalgo County people are facing in their quest to improve their financial condition and increase their housing opportunities. We have identified a distressed economy, a dense and under-educated population, high poverty and poor housing opportunities – all have left our poor Valley families few alternatives in the area of housing opportunities; one being to rent in order to keep a roof over their heads. We believe that in any community, the low-income individual who rents is the poorest and most under-resourced group. As they pay hundreds of dollars in rent each month and gain no equity in the process; they deserve representation and support. We are looking to the Lawrence Foundation funding opportunity to help us embark in an aggressive financial literacy campaign directed at educating, empowering and improving the financial health of these individuals with the long-term aim of increasing their housing opportunities.
ARCH’s history dates back to 1993 while still under the umbrella of the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aide (TRLA); a non-profit organization well known for servicing the poor and low income with free legal representation. ARCH’s founding principles began here when servicing the poorest families in learning to understand their rights as tenants as they requested help in resolving many unfair housing practices. Our services began by advocating for tenants at the Justice Courts to ensure they were given due process. In 1995, ARCH obtained its 501(C) 3 non-profit charitable status and began operating as a grassroots nonprofit organization. In 2005 ARCH obtained its independence and began to enhance its programs by adding case management, house mediation, outreach & engagement services and began to secure state and federal funds to prevent homelessness. Since, ARCH has grown into the County’s premier nonprofit organization; well known for its roots
in enforcing fair and equal justice for housing and has helped thousand of low income people secure safe and decent housing.
- Year established:1998
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:None
Types of funding being sought (i.e. funding type)
- None specified
Program areas of focus and activity (i.e. funding cause)
- None specified
Geographic areas of focus and activity (i.e. geographic area)
- None specified
Organization tax information is not viewable for this organization.