July 28, 2009

Bingaman & Udall: Funding Awarded to Bolster N.M. Housing & Economy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today announced that millions of dollars are being directed to New Mexico to bolster rural job creation and fund the construction of affordable housing. The funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

"This funding will give a boost to the effort of encouraging job creation in rural parts of our state, and ensure there is ample quality and affordable housing for New Mexicans," Bingaman said.

"We need to keep business opportunities open in New Mexico and make sure there is affordable housing for those who need it," said Udall. "By providing funding through the Recovery Act to ensure these projects move forward, we can help to create jobs in New Mexico's rural communities while providing a service our citizens need."

USDA's Rural Business Enterprise Program will release $577,750 to Acoma Pueblo for infrastructure improvements that include an additional water well with better quality water, installation of fiber optic communications capability, extension of the electrical delivery system, and development of existing water and sewer mains, all in an effort to expand business opportunities.

New Mexico's Own, Inc. will receive $400,000 from USDA's Rural Business Enterprise Program for outreach, recruitment and technical assistance followed by on-site incubating of potential or existing manufacturers of artisan products. Funding will also be used for a planning/feasibility study for a proposed Four Corners Southwest wholesale trade mart to establish New Mexico as a regional product sales and distribution center for the Four Corners region.

Additionally, the Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development is releasing $13.8 million to New Mexico to fund construction of housing projects aimed at providing affordable residences for New Mexicans. To ensure the funding creates jobs in the construction sector, it must be spent on projects that can begin immediately and be completed by February 16, 2012.

HUD is also releasing $2 million to Laguna Housing Development and Management Enterprise; $2 million to Nambe Pueblo Housing Entity; and $2 million for the San Felipe Pueblo Housing authority. Funds will be use to improve housing stock, develop viable communities, promote energy efficiency and create jobs.