NCRC Opens Border Fair Housing & Economic Justice Center

National Community Reinvestment Coalition Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Rachel Maleh

Colonias Press Conference 4/22/04 at 10:30 am at Bienestar Familiar
Washington, DC—April 15—The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is pleased to announce the opening of the Border Fair Housing & Economic Justice Center in El Paso, Texas.  The Center is founded by both private and public sector community leaders in the Colonias of the Southwest to address the growing need in that community, and is funded by a one million dollar federal grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“The Border Fair Housing & Economic Justice Center is being founded by community leaders who live and work in the border region – individuals who are painfully aware of the discriminatory practices that exist in their community.  Working as a team- NCRC, community leaders and HUD – this Center will be an extension of NCRC and work towards our goal of making access to capital and credit a reality for individuals living in the Colonias,” states John Taylor, President and CEO of NCRC.  Taylor continues, “We applaud HUD for their commitment to our nation’s communities and for their ongoing efforts to affirmatively further fair housing in rural communities.”

The Border Fair Housing Center will be located at 2017 Texas Ave in El Paso, Texas. The center’s phone number is (915) 351-2770.  There will be a press conference held at Bienestar Familiar – 10189 Socorro Road – El Paso, Texas 79927  on Thursday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. to introduce the new centers Board of Directors, sponsors and to announce the agencies programs.

The Center’s commitment is to economic justice, affordable housing, equal access to credit and fair housing in the region. “The center will offer educational programs and provide testing to uncover housing discrimination in the community while fulfilling its commitment to the broader issues of economic justice.  The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to consider race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or family status in the sale or rental of housing,” states David Berenbaum, NCRC’s Senior Vice President.  “In addition to organizing local residents to form the Center’s board of directors, NCRC will also technical assistance and training to the Center staff.  The goal is that in three years the Center will become an independent organization, and a new NCRC member.”

Daniel Solis, the founding Chairperson of the Border Fair Housing and Economic Justice Center, stated that  “The mission of the Border Fair Housing Center is to ensure greater compliance with federal, state and local laws through a multifaceted fair housing program in our communities in the Colonias.  The Center will be governed by local leaders in the border communities who are committed to economic justice, affordable housing and equal access to credit and fair housing in the region. The Centers approach will celebrate  collaboration and partnership with the public and private sector and education & outreach, counseling and advocacy, best practice initiatives, community development, research & planning and the enforcement of civil rights and consumer protection laws in the Colonias.”

The founding Board of Directors for the Border Fair Housing & Economic Justice Center are:

Daniel Solis, Chairperson

Allianza Para El Desarollo Comunitario, Inc.,

San Elizario, Texas


Norma Chavez, First Chairperson

State of Texas Representative – District 76,

Chair, Border and International Affairs Committee,

El Paso, Texas


Rick Rhey, Second Chairperson

Southwest FairHousingCenter

Tucson, Arizona



Larry Garcia, Treasurer

El Paso Credit Union Affordable Housing Corporation

El Paso, Texas


Rose Garcia, Secretary

Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation

San Miguel, New Mexico


Sandra Sanchez Almanzan

Fannie Mae

San Antonio, Texas


Carlos Aguilar, III

North American Realty

El Paso, Texas


Lorenzo H. Aguilar

El Paso, Texas


Homero Cabello

Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs

Austin, Texas


Frank Desales

Sparks Housing Development Corporation

El Paso, Texas


Veronica Escobar

Community Scholars

El Paso, Texas


Frances Leos Martinez

McCauley Institute

Austin Texas


Juan Salinas

Laredo Habitat for Humanity

Laredo, Texas



Michael Wyatt, Esq.

Texas Rural Legal Aid, Inc.

El Paso, Texas


Joining the board of directors is Anibal Olague who will serve as the organization’s first Executive Director.  Mr. Olague previously served as the Border Field Officer, Office of Colonia Initiatives, for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.  To quote Mr Olague, “For many years, community based organizations have been searching for the tools necessary to fight the discrimination and predatory lending practices affecting our border communities.  The Border Fair Housing & Economic Justice Center will be a true representative of the community and we are very excited to finally identify a partnership that will allow us to implement and achieve our goals in improving and protecting our community”.

For more information on NCRC and/or to schedule an interview or to attend the Open House on Thursday, April 22nd please contact Rachel Maleh at 202-628-8866  or via email