empowerment zone



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What is an Empowerment Zone?

An Empowerment Zone is a federally recognized distressed area in need of sustainable community development. The Federal Government has been actively engaged in assisting the designated communities in realizing their revitalization strategies. By providing tax incentives, grants, loans, and technical assistance, the federal initiative has helped spur private investment in communities that have experienced severe economic decline. The program provides performance-oriented, flexible Federal grant funding so communities can design local solutions that empower residents to participate in the revitalization of their neighborhoods.

The El Paso Empowerment Zone contains 12 census tracts with a 1990 Census population of 51,444 (90 less than the maximum eligible under EZ criteria) and a total area of 10.8 square miles. Statistically, the residents of the El Paso EZ are among the City’s poorest.

El Corazon de El Paso

On January 13, 1999, El Paso was one of 15 cities nationwide, and the only city in Texas, to receive an Empowerment Zone (EZ) designation from HUD under Round II of the federal EZ Program. El Paso's EZ has been named El Corazon de El Paso (the Heart of El Paso) because of its rich historical and cultural significance. Encompassing the central core of the city and a portion of the Ysleta area on the east side of town, El Corazon de El Paso is rich in economic possibilities, yet is also one of the most impoverished urban areas in the United States.

Empowerment Zone Map

The vision for the future
The residents of the Empowerment Zone are united behind a vision that makes quality of life and economic self-sufficiency the rewards realized from hard work, education, family strength, and participation in a global economy.

For more information and/or to be placed on the EZ mailing list, contact:
Isela Robison
Empowerment Zone Coordinator
City of El Paso – Community and Human Development Department

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