Renovated affordable senior housing option opens in SE Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Senior citizens looking for affordable housing now have one more option – the renovated Casa De Sierra. The apartments were closed for two years while it went under a total remodel.

The development company says this was a $23 million investment that includes a fitness room, pool and ADA-accessible units. 

“The majority of times, it is a lot more efficient to preserve a property than build a new one. In this case, about half the cost,” said Izzy Hernandez, the executive director of the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority.

The senior property with 188 units almost ran out of funding and went to market rate.

“This is a great example of preserving affordable housing, and not letting it expire and go into market rate,” said Hernandez. 

That’s something city and county leaders say we just can’t afford with the current housing crisis. 

“Sometimes lost in the discussion is the notion that we already have the structures. The fastest, cheapest way to meet our housing demands is by rehabbing facilities, and converting facilities,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

“If we had lost this property to not be affordable housing, I think it would have only meant worst for our community,” said Adriann Barboa, a Bernalillo County Commissioner. 

Housing project revenue bonds will keep this complex 100% affordable for the next 30 years.

“To reinvest in an area, to renovate, and to reimagine — that is what I think about when I see this property,” said Skip Grodahl with DBG Properties. 

This is a need that the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority says will only grow. 

“It is estimated that there will be an increased need of senior households from 18% currently to 21% in 2035,” said Hernandez. 

There has been such a need for affordable housing all over the state. The Mortgage Finance Authority has 56 developments across the state that are under construction.