ALBUQUERQUE -- The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority is one of eight organizations nationwide that have been awarded funds from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development pilot program for veterans, HUD announced. MFA will receive $1 million through its charitable trust, the New Mexico Affordable Housing Charitable Trust, to make physical modifications to the homes of low-income disabled veterans that will make their homes safer and more accessible. MFA will also use the funds to install energy efficiency measures in the homes, which can result in a significant reduction in utility costs.
HUD awarded a total of $7.4 million to eight agencies in six states for its Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program. Services provided will include the installation of wheelchair ramps, widening doorways, reconfiguring bathrooms and adding space for a live-in caregiver. Energy efficiency and safety upgrades may include insulation, caulking, new windows and/or new heating systems. Services will be customized to the needs of each homeowner.
New Mexico has a higher than average veteran population at almost 11 percent compared to 6.6 percent nationally. Of these, almost a third are disabled. In addition, 47 percent of New Mexico veterans are over the age of 65, many of whom have physical mobility and other age-related issues. Adaptive home modifications can help these veterans regain or maintain their independence.
“MFA oversees several successful home rehabilitation and weatherization programs that serve low-income New Mexicans and veterans,” said Jay Czar, MFA’s executive director. “This grant allows us to provide services to even more households and to focus on disabled veterans. It is important that the men and women who have sacrificed so much for their country have a quality, affordable place to live.”
The New Mexico Affordable Housing Charitable Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is administered by MFA. In addition to grants like this one, the trust is funded through personal donations. Donors to the Charitable Trust receive a state tax credit equal to 50 percent of their donation. The donation can also be claimed on a federal tax return for a total return of up to 90 percent of the donated amount. For more information about the Charitable Trust, go to housingnm.org/resources.
The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority is a quasi-governmental entity created in 1975 to provide financing for housing and other related services for low- and moderate-income New Mexicans. Using funding from housing bonds, tax credits and other federal and state resources, MFA creates new affordable housing, makes existing homes more energy efficient and supports affordable rental housing. The organization also provides funding for emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness, supportive housing for individuals with special needs, and rent and utility assistance.
MFA is self-supporting and receives no operational money from the state of New Mexico. In 2017, MFA provided more than $552 million in low-interest financing and grants for affordable housing and housing services throughout the state. The organization manages an average of $2.9 billion in assets.