Understanding the Colonias Investment Areas

Located along the U.S. and Mexico border, colonias communities lack a widely accepted definition and standardized boundaries, hindering investment. Fannie Mae and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) have partnered to address this underserved market. Insights gained from our research are leading to greater understanding of the colonias region and potential investment opportunities.

Working Toward a Better Understanding of Colonia Communities for Mortgage Access and Finance

This research proposes an industry-standard, universal definition of colonias communities. The adoption of this definition can increase the effectiveness of future research and can help increase the understanding of potential investment opportunities. Learn more about this unique region and the 2.5 million people who call it home.

Colonias Mapping Tool

Find colonias communities and explore detailed tract and county data using our interactive mapping tool.

Download census tract level data that defines Colonias Investment Areas. The data also identifies how many communities in each Colonias Investment Area are associated with a federal, state, or local program.

Housing in the Border Colonias

Updated September 2013The border region between the United States and Mexico is dotted with thousands of rural communities characterized by extreme poverty and severely substandard living conditions. These communities, commonly called colonias, are overwhelmingly inhabited by individuals and families of Mexican heritage. Poor housing conditions are common in the colonias with an old, deteriorating housing stock, combined with newer units that do not meet building codes.