MFA 2022 Annual Report Highlights Impact of Collaboration in Addressing Housing Crisis

2022 was a pivotal year for the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA), since MFA led the development of a statewide housing strategy, helped advance permanent funding for affordable housing, and assisted 18,572 New Mexicans with housing services ranging from down-payment assistance to homelessness assistance and prevention, weatherization and home rehabilitation, according to MFA’s 2022 Annual Report.

“This year [2022] showed us just how much of an impact we can have by leading collaborative efforts to address housing issues impacting the entire state,” said MFA Executive Director/CEO Isidoro Hernandez. “As the state’s housing agency, we’re proud to lead initiatives that are helping more communities establish affordable housing, which is the foundation for economic growth.”

According to the report, MFA programs helped 2,218 families become homeowners in 2022 by providing $403.4 million in affordable-rate mortgage loans and $15.8 million in down payment assistance. In addition to helping homebuyers, MFA also provided $136.8 million in funding through Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) awards and an additional $62.2 million in grants, loans and bonds which constructed or rehabilitated a mix of about 1,000 rental apartments and single-family homes.

MFA, which administers the LIHTC program, receives an annual allocation of federal tax credits that is awarded to housing developers through a highly competitive process. In the 20-year history of the program, MFA has awarded over $137 million in tax credits, resulting in over $1.25 billion in funding for affordable housing projects that created or rehabilitated 18,599 units of affordable housing.

Thanks to collaborative efforts to expand affordable housing opportunities in 2022, MFA’s impact is only expected to grow after the passage of Senate Bill 134 (SB134). SB134 was a bipartisan piece of legislation, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Rodriguez (Santa Fe) and Rep. Nathan Small (Las Cruces), that was signed into law in 2022 and dedicates 2.5 percent of the annual severance tax bond capacity for the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund, which is administered by MFA.

“Given the 21-to-1 leverage ratio the previous funding generated, we expect the funding from SB134 to be truly transformational for the state,” Hernandez said. “We’re grateful to the Governor, legislators and supporters who helped pass this funding that will allow MFA to fund the development of countless new affordable housing developments.”

The new recurring funding is expected to generate an estimated $20 to 25 million in dedicated funding for the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund starting in July 2024. To date, the New Mexico Housing Trust fund, has leveraged 21-to-1 the approximately $27 million dollars the state has invested in the fund since it was created in 2005. This funding generated the development of 4,795 affordable housing units with an economic impact of $580 million across the state.

“Although we’re widely known for our down-payment assistance and mortgage programs, MFA has more than 30 programs which support housing needs across the entire spectrum,” said MFA Chief Housing Officer Donna Maestas-De Vries. “Both the scale and diversity of our programs ensure we are working to address the complex housing needs of the state.”

Last year, MFA also led the development of the first-of-its-kind New Mexico Housing Strategy which outlined steps to address New Mexico’s housing crisis at multiple levels. The strategy was created over the span of a year in collaboration with the Housing New Mexico Advisory Committee, an MFA-led committee of leaders representing the full range of the housing services and programs.

The strategy identified five key strategies needed to address the statewide housing crisis including: producing new housing; preserving existing housing and redeveloping underutilized properties; building homeownership opportunities, especially among low-and-moderate-income and racially and/or ethnically diverse households; creating housing stability, especially for residents individuals vulnerable to, or experiencing, homelessness; and advocating for effective federal housing policies and regulations.

The data used to inform the strategy came from a comprehensive study of needs, resources and the gaps in housing that MFA commissioned last year. That study found that there is currently a statewide shortage of 32,000 units for renters making less than 30 percent of area median income. In addition, 218,471 New Mexico households were identified as “cost burdened” – spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

The study also estimated that 40,000 homes lack complete kitchens or plumbing, 5,140 new units per year are needed to accommodate growth by 2035, and an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 New Mexicans are experiencing homelessness, of which 9,000 are children. 

In 2022, MFA’s homelessness assistance and prevention programs also provided $4.2 million in funding to MFA’s non-profit partners who served more than 5,075 people experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness. In addition, MFA’s programs helped more than 556 people with mental or physical disabilities stay housed and prevented homelessness for 935 individuals experiencing housing emergencies.

According to the report, last year MFA also provided approximately $32.5 million in project-based Section 8 rental assistance to 5,230 people and monitored 1,542 rental units at 307 affordable apartment communities across the state to ensure they remained safe and well-maintained.

The report also detailed how MFA utilized $8.1 million in funding to install energy efficiency upgrades in 650 homes and $676,213 in funding to rehabilitate 93 homes. MFA also provided $5 million in assistance to 664 households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about MFA, or to download a copy of the annual report, visit: housingnm.org/financials