Assessment of the housing and infrastructure conditions in the El Paso County colonias

Josue Machado, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The inadequate infrastructure and housing conditions in colonias represent one the biggest challenges to overcome in the United States-Mexico border region. The proliferation of colonias in the El Paso County is an unwritten statement of the inefficiency of the existing programs created to improve their conditions. This study provides an assessment of the housing and infrastructure conditions in colonias in El Paso County and the economic impact of these conditions on colonia residents. In this study, a colonia is defined as any U.S.-Mexico border low-income community that lacks basic infrastructure systems: municipal water, municipal sewage, and piped natural gas. A field survey of 17 colonias in El Paso County was conducted to determine the socio-economic conditions of colonia residents, expenditures on infrastructure services, and housing conditions for low income families. Approximately five percent of the houses in each of these colonias were surveyed. A Geographic Information System (GIS) of the collected data (both map and database) was developed. The Tierra Madre community was identified as a potential approach for improving the housing and infrastructure conditions in colonias. The success of Tierra Madre may be due to well established management organization, energy savings due to energy-efficient homes (e.g., SBRI-PSWH and straw-bale walls), and self-help construction. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Civil|Engineering, Sanitary and Municipal|Urban and Regional Planning

Recommended Citation

Machado, Josue, "Assessment of the housing and infrastructure conditions in the El Paso County colonias" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1434287.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1434287

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