April 02, 2020

New Mexico Delegation Announces Over $16.7 Million in Housing Grants to New Mexico Communities from Emergency Coronavirus Funding

First wave of grants funded by $2 trillion emergency COVID-19 response package Congress passed last week

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), announced that New Mexico communities across the state will receive over $16.7 million in emergency housing assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to bolster the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are part of a first wave of grants from the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that the entire New Mexico delegation voted to pass Congress last week.

New Mexico received the $16,776,942 in funding in three HUD programs, which include the Community Development Block Grant program, Emergency Solutions Grants and the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program. These funds will help New Mexico keep more people in homes at a time of serious economic disruption and public health crisis. 

“The health and safety of all New Mexicans is my top priority in Congress—and safe and well-built housing is an essential part of New Mexico’s public health effort to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when we are asking people to stay at home to reduce the spread of this virus,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I fought to include strong provisions to protect working families and vulnerable communities in Congress’s response to this unprecedented public health crisis. As we urge New Mexicans to stay home to slow the spread of this virus and save lives, I will fight to secure the housing resources that communities across the state need to make sure they can do so safely.” 

“Throughout our response to the coronavirus, the health and wellbeing of all New Mexicans has been paramount. No New Mexican should be without a roof over their head, especially when facing the dangers of a global pandemic,” said Heinrich. "This critical federal funding will help ensure the most vulnerable among us are protected from the spread of this deadly disease. It's the hard truth that the economic fallout of this public health crisis means that many New Mexico workers and families are facing deep uncertainty about their job security and their ability to pay their bills. I have called for a temporary halt on evictions and foreclosures, but we need to do more. Now more than ever, we need to help all New Mexicans find housing and the assistance they need to get back on their feet."

“The health and well-being of every New Mexican is of the highest importance,” said Luján. “Scientists and doctors agree the best way we can prevent the spread of this virus is by staying home, but in order to do this we need to ensure everyone is able to find housing and live in safe conditions. I will continue to fight for vital funds for housing emergency solutions, families who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness, and housing opportunities for at-risk health populations.”

“Shelter is imperative to staying safe and healthy, but too many New Mexicans face homelessness or housing uncertainty. We worked to ensure New Mexico families who face struggles every day have support, and this funding will help keep a roof over many New Mexico families’ heads during this pandemic,” said Haaland.

“As New Mexicans are asked to stay at home and physically distance ourselves to protect each other and our communities, safe and secure housing is essential. I’m proud of the bipartisan collaboration to pass the CARES Act, and I am pleased to see the support start to reach our communities with this first wave of HUD funding. During this time of uncertainty, New Mexicans need relief now and I will continue to work so our community has access to all federal funding and resources available through the CARES Act,” said Torres Small.

The full $16,776,942 funding breakdown is below:

COVID-19 Recovery- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): Nationally, $5 billion was provided for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to enable states, counties, and cities to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by the pandemic, including the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks, and senior services. In order to ensure resources are quickly deployed and meet the unique response needs to COVID-19, the bill eliminates the cap on the amount of funds a grantee can spend on public services, removes the requirement to hold in-person public hearings in order to comply with national and local social gathering requirements, and allows grantees to be reimbursed for COVID-19 response activities regardless of the date the costs were incurred.

- Albuquerque, $2,678,828
- Farmington, $229,696
- Las Cruces, $560,525
- Rio Rancho, 346,887
- Santa Fe, $361,227
- New Mexico Nonentitlement, $6,802,356 

COVID-19 Recovery- Emergency Solutions Grants: Nationally, $4 billion was included to address the impact of COVID-19 among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Eviction prevention activities including rapid rehousing, housing counseling, and rental deposit assistance will mitigate the adverse impacts of the pandemic on working families.

- Albuquerque, $1,364,214
- New Mexico Nonentitlement, $4,140,483

COVID-19 Recovery- Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program: Nationally, $65 million was provided to maintain rental assistance and expand operational and administrative flexibilities for housing and supportive service providers to assist nearly 61,000 households. Given that this population is particularly vulnerable, the bill includes temporary relocation services to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 for these at-risk households.

- Albuquerque, $76,795
- New Mexico Nonentitlement, $69,375
- Santa Fe Community Housing Trust, Competitive Grant Award, $146,556