The History of MFA

MFA building being remodelled in 2000

MFA’s 1997 program expansion meant more staff and a need for more space. A 13,000 foot addition was built in 2000. In years following the renovation, the State of New Mexico passed several pieces of legislation that significantly expanded MFA’s role as the state’s affordable housing leader.

In the late 1990s, MFA began a period of significant growth, which lead to a massive remodel of the building in 2000. Basically, a whole new two-story building was constructed to the south into the existing parking lot and to the east into PNM’s pumping station that MFA had acquired. More than 13,000 square feet of space was added. The entrance was again relocated, this time to face Third Street, but the mailing address remains 344 Fourth Street.

But the building wasn’t the only thing expanding. In 2001, MFA’s Asset Management Department was formed. MFA’s asset management staff conducts compliance audits and physical inspections for 18,240 affordable units at 277 apartment communities across the state. The department also processes approximately $32.6 million in project-based Section 8 rental assistance for 5,230 low-income households every year.

In 2004 and 2005, the state legislature passed several pieces of legislation that further expanded MFA’s role as the state’s affordable housing agency:

  • The Affordable Housing Act was passed by the state legislature in 2004. The legislation allows the state and local communities to contribute to affordable housing. MFA has helped 33 local governments develop affordable housing plans and ordinances as required by the Act. And local governments have donated almost $50 million to affordable housing in their communities.
  • In 2005, the Housing Trust Fund Act was passed along with a $10 million appropriation. Since then, the state has appropriated another $17 million, which MFA has leveraged to generate more than $500 million. The fund has financed the construction or rehabilitation of 3,494 apartment homes and 344 single-family homes in 22 New Mexico communities.
  • Also, in 2005, the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act was passed. The tax credit encourages private investment in affordable housing by offering a 50 percent state tax credit for people or businesses who donate. Since then, MFA has received $12.5 million in donations that have been used to construct or rehabilitate affordable housing.
  • With the 1997 shift in the state’s housing programs structure, the state’s seven regional housing authorities were left with no direct oversight. Allegations of misspending caused two of the authorities to shut down, and four more lost their bonding capacity.  During the 2007 legislative session, MFA was given the enormous task of  overhauling and overseeing New Mexico’s regional housing authority system. Today, there are three highly-functioning regional housing authorities that are involved in housing development, weatherization and managing rental subsidies. There has been no fraud, waste or abuse in any of the regional authorities since MFA began its oversight.
  • In 2008, the Great Recession hit. Over the next year or so, many housing finance authorities across the nation curtailed or eliminated programs. Even though MFA was certainly impacted by the recession, the agency not only maintained all of its programs and services, but it distributed more than $95 million in federal stimulus funding. MFA also led the country in creating mechanisms and programs to get the funding allocated and spent efficiently.