WIT Press

Economic Development And Colonias In Texas


Free (open access)








739 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


C. Giusti


This paper concentrates on economic, institutional, financial and legal matters that have a direct impact on sustainable planning and development. It reflects the research that is being developed in colonias on the Texas side of the US - Mexico border region. Colonias in Texas are defined as areas with substandard housing, inadequate plumbing and sewage disposal systems, and low-income residents. Three case-studies are presented: the first refers to micro businesses and their potential to promote local economic development; the second is related to the \“legalization” of \“informal” developments; and the third refers to the sustainability of micro-credit for house improvement. Colonias, mainly isolated from urban areas, are starting to enjoy a relatively stable population, and regardless of the many difficulties they face, colonias are showing signs of being livable communities. This paper discusses these low-income communities from the point of view of promoting local economic and community sustainable development. Keywords: economic development, micro credit, land tenure, housing. 1 Introduction When approaching communities lagging economic dynamism, with no defined or stable institutions, with unclear legal framework, there is a concern on how sustainable are these communities. This paper will deal, specifically with three research projects in colonias along the Texas-Mexico border region related to their land, legal, and economic concerns. The first case study refers to a research done on the contribution of micro-businesses to local economies; the second one related to the effects of micro-credit for house improvements on the well-being con colonias; and the third one is related to a lot-titling regularization program and its effects on local residents.


economic development, micro credit, land tenure, housing.