This study was undertaken by researchers at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Law School Community Development Clinic (CDC) at University of Texas at Austin. It arose in response to a request from the community leaders and residents of two large low- income and largely Hispanic informal homestead subdivisions -- Rancho Vista and Redwood – in Guadalupe County, located some 7 miles south east of San Marcos, central Texas. In order to help with the preparation of grant and other assistance proposals, the CDC proposed the creation of a detailed baseline profile of housing conditions in these two settlements. To that end, and working with local community leaders, the LBJ School designed and implemented a (two-wave) mail and in-person household survey. Out of some 630 mails interviews that were sent out, a total of 93 households returned the self-addressed, pre-paid envelopes containing completed questionnaires, and a further 40 households participated in randomly selected face-to-face interviews giving 133 completed surveys in all. This report documents the development history of the two areas; presents the detailed survey findings, and suggestions for future policy directions for home improvement, self-help, and new housing initiatives.
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