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Affordable housing opens in Southeast Heights

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An affordable housing project in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights that has been in the works since 2015 officially opened Thursday.

Described as a high-design urban infill site, the 89-unit Casa Feliz apartment complex is a $17.2 million redevelopment project that received funding from four sources. The bulk came from $12.5 million in low-income housing tax credits from the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority.

City support for the project, which is located in the International District, includes $2.8 million from the Affordable Housing Fund. The New Mexico Housing Trust Fund kicked in $1.5 million and $400,000 came through the Ventana Fund, a nonprofit organization administered by MFA.

The development, which is located at 443 EspaƱola Street SE, consists of efficiency, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Casa Feliz is reserved for families and individuals with incomes at 30 to 60 percent of the area median household income of $48,900. Twenty percent of the units are set aside for individuals with special needs.

Development partners and funders at the Thursday dedication ceremony hailed the completion of construction, saying projects like Casa Feliz are helping to revitalize Albuquerque’s urban neighborhoods.

The Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership, Inc., a metro-area nonprofit that builds and owns affordable apartments, was the developer. The project architect was Hartman & Majewski Design Group, and the general contractor was Tofel Construction. Casa Feliz is managed by Monarch Properties.

“Building quality affordable housing on 10 vacant lots on Grove, Espanola and San Pablo streets has dramatically transformed the neighborhood,” said GAHP Executive Director Felipe Rael. “We worked to match the scale and character of the area. We were conscious of the building heights and adapted the depth of the front of the buildings to match our neighbors.”

The 5.3-acre Casa Feliz project complements the existing 68-unit Plaza Feliz project that was built by GAHP in 2012.