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Yesterday I was proud to join U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez, the Housing Authority of El Paso (HACEP), and other state and local officials for the Paisano Green Community ribbon cutting ceremony.

The "Paisano Green Community" is the first Net Zero, LEED Platinum, public housing community in the nation and is a model project for the Recovery Act Green Communities Initiative. What was once a vacant property, in a city with a large demand for affordable housing, has now become one of the most energy-efficient housing units in the United States. This investment will help alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in El Paso with the addition of 73 energy-efficient units. These units will not only help reduce our community's energy and water consumption, but will also help families save money on utility costs. In addition, this project has helped create hundreds of jobs at a critical time.

This project was made by possible by an $8.25 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. El Paso was one of only 36 communities in the nation, and the only one in Texas, awarded with a competitive grant for the construction of "green' affordable housing units. This grant was leveraged with an additional $7 million through the Capital Fund Program and HACEP reserves. Funding also includes a $500,000 loan from the City of El Paso.

The "Paisano Green Community" is another significant investment in our community's long term infrastructure made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Over $1 billion in federal Recovery Act funding has been invested in the El Paso community, and this landmark legislation continues to have a major impact on our community's long term economic health.

Important construction projects made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are the Americas Interchange connecting I-10 and Loop 375, the Glory Road and Westside Sun Metro bus terminals, the new Warrior in Transition Complex at Fort Bliss, Project Vida community health clinic expansion, and many more.

I'm pleased to see the launch of another Recovery Act project in our community.

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