Are Texas Colonias A Problem?

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Are Texas Colonias a problem? What should the state do about them? Texas Contstitution-Article 1 Bill of rights All free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services.

Colonias is originally a Spanish word meaning simply neighborhoods or areas of a city. In Spanglish, the mixed English-Spanish spoken in the parts of the U.S. near the Mexico border,colonias refers to the primarily Hispanic neighborhoods in cities like San Antonio,Texas. Since these neighborhoods are much less affluent than Anglo or mixed neighborhoods, the word connotes poverty and substandard housing. Colonias are characterized by substandard housing, inadequate plumbing and sewage disposal systems, and inadequate access to clean water. They are highly concentrated poverty pockets that are physically and legally isolated from neighboring cities. With an average annual household income of $6,784 in South Texas, it is not difficult to see why these people live in colonias.

It is only in these largely unregulated rural settings that they can lay claim to home ownership which , on the surface, appears to be affordable. But homes in the colonias are affordable only because these communities lack the basic necessities mainstream Americans take for granted: water, sewer, paved streets, and fire and police protection. There are other immediate needs in the areas of health, adequate housing, and sewage disposal. Local medical providers and hospital administrators have quoted that they have been overburdened with demand for services by a population unable to pay. Sewage treatment and disposal, largely nonexistent, is both an engineering challenge and a costly project. Improvements needed to provide safe and sanitary housing carry a large price tag.

The tax base in these communities cannot amortize the costs of...