Colonias Investment Areas Research
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.
FHFA Defines the Colonias
In May 2023, FHFA released a standardized definition of the Colonias region along the U.S.-Mexico border. The boundaries of the region, informed by this research effort, will allow lenders and other stakeholders to better support these communities. Read the report below to better understand how this region was defined, and see our AMI Limit Lookup Tool for the most up to date information on FHFA-defined rural regions.
Explore our 2020 Colonias Investment Areas research
Our 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 understanding of potential investment opportunities. Learn more about this unique region and the 2.5 million people who call it home.
Full research paper
Our full research report provides broader insights into the colonias region — as well as proposes a definition for industry use. With greater high-cost lending and a poverty rate (27%) nearly twice the national average (15%), colonias communities are an underserved region worthy of focus and support. Eager to learn more?
Census tract database
This file, available for your download and use, includes a database of the census tracts our research defines as Colonias Investment Areas. It also identifies how many communities in each Colonias Investment Area are associated with a federal, state, or local program.
Colonias visualization mapping tool
Find colonias communities and explore detailed tract and county data using our interactive mapping tool.
Area Median Income (AMI) estimates are provided by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. These AMIs are used in income eligibility determinations.
For more information, visit FHFA’s Duty to Serve Data website.
Proud to partner with HAC
Fannie Mae is pleased to have partnered with the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) to address the need for a greater understanding of the colonias region. Working together, we hope to increase investment in and access to affordable housing in this underserved market.