Santa Fe Suites, a supportive apartment complex for low-income residents, is in line for a face-lift.
The Santa Fe City Council’s Public Works and Utilities Committee on Monday recommended the acceptance of more than $844,000 in state capital outlay grant funds — approved by the Legislature in 2020 for work on a facility for homeless and below-market renters — to provide upgrades and renovations to the 123-unit complex.
Alexandra Ladd, executive director of the city’s Affordable Housing Department, said the project’s scope is still in the development phase. The renovations will help shed the last few layers of the complex’s previous life as an extended-stay motel, she added.
Ladd said she expects a new paint job and repairs to the concrete in the walkway of the complex, located near the intersection of St. Francis Drive and West Zia Road. The project includes signage upgrades, as well as improvements to landscaping around the property and to the barrier between the complex and a nearby arroyo.
The funds also will be used to renovate a conference room, mail room and common space to provide more places for residents to meet with one another and case managers.
“That isn’t something you would necessarily want in a extended-stay motel, but if it’s supportive housing, people want some place to spread out a bit,” Ladd said.
Ladd said city staff had an understanding that additional funding for upgrades would be coming through the pipeline when the city approved funds to help with the purchase of Santa Fe Suites and its conversion to housing for people in need.
The complex opened last year through a partnership between the city, a few local nonprofit organizations and the New York-based nonprofit Community Solutions.
The purchase price was about $9 million. Community Solutions provided the bulk of the cost at $3.9 million. The city kicked in $2 million in federal CARES Act funds, while the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority gave a $2 million grant, and nonprofit investors gave around $600,000. The federal government reimbursed about $500,000 of the cost.
Some of the residents of Santa Fe Suites had been members of the homeless community or had spent time in behavioral health recovery programs. Some pay the full $850 monthly rent for a housing unit, while others pay a subsidized cost. The complex also offers some wrap-around services for residents.
The full City Council will vote Wednesday on final approval of the grant funding. A separate agreement outlining the full scope of the work at Santa Fe Suites will face a vote of approval at a later date.