Santa Fe selects hotel to house the homeless - Albuquerque Journal

Santa Fe selects hotel to house the homeless

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – The city of Santa Fe has until Dec. 30 to spend $17 million of CARES Act funding and is making some sizable purchases.

City officials are currently in the process of financing a $2 million purchase of The Santa Fe Suites, a 122-unit hotel off Interstate 25, to provide housing for homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another $500,000 of funds from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development may be used as well, according to Affordable Housing Director Alexandra Ladd.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the city has stressed the importance of preventing an outbreak among the local homeless population, which has happened in such communities in Albuquerque and Gallup.

However, only about a third of the available units will be reserved for the chronically homeless. The rest will be used for those who have seen their incomes reduced during the pandemic or whose salary is too small to rent in Santa Fe’s expensive housing market.

“If you think about one big project that can make a one-time dent in our affordable housing needs, it’s a huge step in the right direction,” Mayor Alan Webber told the Journal.

Those hoping to rent one of the affordable units must go through an application process similar to other apartment complexes. Rents are expected to be around $700 per month once government subsidies for residents are included.

Ladd said the hotel’s layout, which consists of separate condominiums, made it ideal for the city’s needs, as they expect there to be few repairs needed for each unit, which averages around 320 square feet.

“What’s really great about it is that it’s been well-maintained over the years,” Ladd said. “Each of the units has been fully furnished, not only with furniture, but also all the fixtures you would need.”

City officials, though, have stressed two things regarding the hotel: it’s not a homeless shelter and the city will not own it, but instead the money will be used to pay off debt service on the property.

During Wednesday’s Quality of Life Committee meeting, Ladd said a nonprofit sponsor will eventually take over the day-to-day operations, including providing social services aimed at removing residents from the cycle of homelessness.

But a sponsor, whether it’s one or multiple, still hasn’t been selected. That leaves little time before the Dec. 30 deadline, by which the city is expected to finish placing people in each unit.

“That’s up in the air just a little bit,” Ladd said, adding that a sponsor may not be finalized by the deadline. “Normally, we would have a little more time.”

She said Community Solutions, a nonprofit that works to end homelessness, will take initial ownership of the property.

Wednesday’s meeting also produced updated numbers on the number of homeless individuals in Santa Fe – a study identified 259 households as being homeless, but said the number is probably closer to 400. By comparison, an Urban Institute study found Albuquerque had 567 homeless people in 2019.

Marisol Atkins, who presented the study on homelessness in Santa Fe, said many more are at risk of becoming homeless – 96% of the city’s low-income population is considered “housing burdened,” meaning at least 30% of their salary goes toward rent.

Webber said his administration has worked toward cutting the gap of housing units needed in Santa Fe, which at one time totaled about 5,000. He said more units have been added, but that it’s difficult to know how much progress has been made since demand for housing units continues to increase.

“It’s a moving target,” he said. “(Demand) grows faster than our ability to build.”

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » Santa Fe selects hotel to house the homeless

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Man charged in connection with fatal shooting of girlfriend
ABQnews Seeker
After the death of his 18-year-old ... After the death of his 18-year-old girlfriend in a Saturday-night shooting, Carlos Gonzalez, 24, was charged with 2nd degree murder.
Biz Bits: Albuquerque Business Journal
ABQnews Seeker
Biz Bits: Albuquerque Business Journal Biz Bits: Albuquerque Business Journal
Business Column: In financial matters, government role has upside ...
ABQnews Seeker
Politics is directly intersecting with the ... Politics is directly intersecting with the economy — macro, micro, public and personal — in a not-so-rare standoff in Washington, D.C.
University of Wisconsin project seeks closure for New Mexico ...
ABQnews Seeker
Raoul Zavala was not supposed to ... Raoul Zavala was not supposed to be on the plane that day. ...
A Craigslist ad led these locals to start a ...
ABQnews Seeker
Food is Free Albuquerque will begin ... Food is Free Albuquerque will begin its Farm and Orchard Gleaning Project in June
'Then you heard the next volley': Red River residents ...
ABQnews Seeker
Locals said they noticed on Thursday ... Locals said they noticed on Thursday and Friday that Bandidos and other motorcycle clubs were flaunting their colors throughout town during the rally. Bandidos, ...
Experts urge caution for recreation on the Rio Grande. ...
ABQnews Seeker
In Corrales, fire and police officials ... In Corrales, fire and police officials have done 29 rescues of people and dogs stranded on the river between Siphon Beach and Alameda — ...
Who are the Bandidos? What we know about the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Here's what we know about the ... Here's what we know about the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.
Rick Wright: First visit to Unser Racing Museum on ...
ABQnews Seeker
Until Friday, some 18 years after ... Until Friday, some 18 years after it opened and three days before its permanent closing, I'd never visited Albuquerque's Unser Racing Museum. Now, I ...