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State Says Finding Veterans And Military Housing Still A Challenge

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Kevin Meerschaert via webcast
New Mexico State Legislature
Members of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee listen to testimony from the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority during a meeting Tuesday in Raton.

Finding affordable housing for military personnel and veterans remains a challenge in New Mexico.

On Tuesday, The State Mortgage Finance Authority told lawmakers about the problem and what’s being done to help them.
There are many programs available to help veterans and current military personnel find a place to live, but there are a few drawbacks.
If not living on a base, it’s important that the military members live nearby, and that can pose a challenge in finding enough housing that’s affordable.

Rebecca Velarde is the Senior Director of Policy and Planning for the MFA.
She says there is a lot of housing assistance through the federal government, but one problem is many in the military don’t qualify.

“Most of our funding is federal funding sources and there are income limits that the federal government puts on it. Usually it’s 60% of the area median income or below,” she said. “A lot of our programs, because of those income limits, it puts a lot of the people on those bases over income for our properties.” 

 An example of the problem is at and near Albuquerque’s Kirkland Air Force Base.
According to the FMA, there is a need for nearly 13-hundred private sector units for base personnel, but there are only 54 affordable rental properties within the neighboring zip codes.        

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.