Santa Fe considering upgrades to mixed-income housing facility

New Mexico News

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – This week, the Santa Fe City Council will decide whether or not to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding to renovate one of the newer mixed-income housing facilities in the city. The city helped purchase the old Santa Fe Suites late last year for a non-profit which now operates the facility for those experiencing and transitioning from homelessness, and for low-income residents. Now, the city is looking to make upgrades.

“The idea was always that this would be a mixed-income community. So, kind of [an] opportunity for everybody from the homeless up to workforce renters,” said Alexandra Ladd, Director of Santa Fe’s Office of Affordable Housing.

This week, the city council will vote to approve using more than $800,000 in state funding to renovate the facility. The improvements include security enhancements and renovating the actual rooms tenants live in. They also include upgrading common spaces like the office, where counseling services or classes can take place.

“This funding just kind of creates a little extra support for the project just to make it that much better. It means the resources at the project can be really focused on helping to serve the folks living there,” said Ladd. The funding would come from the last legislative session.

Ladd said we could see another facility like this in Santa Fe soon. “The programming will evolve and it’s according to the needs of the people living there. And it really reflects a new approach to housing folks which is about the people, the tenants, not just the property. Of course, you have to fix the toilets, you have to collect rent checks, you have to do all of that no matter what. But when you put the needs of the tenants first and then you design how you manage the property around those needs, that’s what this property is attempting to do,” said Ladd.

The national non-profit Community Solutions owns and operates the facility. Ladd said down the road, it will eventually transfer operations to a local entity.

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