Governor announces 2nd round of Casa Connection housing grant awards
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday announced $8 million in awards from the Casa Connection Grant Program to organizations across New Mexico to provide housing for vulnerable populations, continuing the administration’s commitment to addressing homelessness and removing barriers to affordable housing in communities across the state.
“Congratulations to this year’s recipients, who are already doing crucial on-the-ground work to tackle homelessness and housing insecurity in our state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This year’s Casa Connections Program grants continue the impactful work my administration has undertaken over the past several years to address homelessness by providing immediate access to shelter while also ensuring New Mexicans receive any long-term support they may need.”
The second round of Casa Connection funding was awarded to the following recipients:
- City of Las Cruces: $1 million for the Three Sisters affordable housing development with a focus on low-income families
- City of Santa Fe: $2 million for the purchase of a hotel for renovation into transitional living with onsite supportive services
- Española Pathways: $800,000 for the renovation of a hotel to increase the transitional housing program for individuals experiencing homelessness and working on substance abuse recovery
- El Camino Real Housing Authority in Socorro: $2 million additional funding to complete the Vista de Socorro affordable housing project, a complex that will provide 32 affordable rental housing units and host supportive services on-site
- Northern New Mexico College: $700,000 to renovate buildings on the El Rito campus to develop affordable housing for students and faculty
- Saranam: $750,000 for expansion of the transitional living program to westside Albuquerque, increasing to 25 small homes on Albuquerque ‘s Westside
- Sheri’s House of Hope: $750,000 to build a new shelter on the Hobbs campus to increase shelter and services for victims of domestic violence
Gov. Lujan Grisham secured funding for the new program in the 2022 session and the initial awardees were announced last December. The grants provide funding to local and tribal governments and their nonprofit partners to purchase and renovate properties to be used as housing for New Mexicans experiencing homelessness. Awarded projects are also encouraged to provide wraparound services such as connecting New Mexicans with health care services, applying for benefits, job training as well as support groups, transportation, case management, and longer-term housing.
“Student homelessness and lack of access to basic needs is a huge problem facing our students,” said Northern New Mexico College President Hector Balderas. “Gov. Lujan Grisham is addressing this critical need, and this assistance will keep our students on a bright pathway to college graduation and economic stability.”
“For Sheri’s House of Hope, the Casa Connections grant is not only an opportunity to provide the physical space for survivors of domestic violence, this grant gives our community hope that we can be a source of safety and healing for our survivors.” said Lorena Chavarria, executive director of Sheri’s House of Hope in Hobbs.
“Saranam is grateful for support from the Casa Connections Grant that will help build housing to double our capacity, so we are better able to solve generational homelessness and poverty for more New Mexico families. said Tracy Weaver, executive director of Saranam.
The state awarded $10.6 million to five community organizations, tribes, and local governments last December and another $10 million last November via the New Mexico Home fund, which funded 41 organizations throughout the state to help provide housing stability services for at-risk communities and to help renters navigate housing obstacles.
Earlier this year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also signed an executive order creating the Housing Investment Council with a mission to bring New Mexico’s affordable housing development up to pace to meet demand in the state. The council is tasked with developing a strategic housing investment plan that addresses gaps in available housing resources, inefficiencies in regulations and zoning that impact housing development, workforce and business shortages in the housing development industries, the facilitation of public-private partnerships and more.