ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Several New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) employees volunteered on May 22 to help build new homes being constructed by Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity. The MFA group helped with affordable homes being built in southeast Albuquerque.

Since its creation by the New Mexico State Legislature in 1975, MFA has provided quality affordable housing opportunities for all New Mexico residents, and Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity has built affordable housing in communities throughout Albuquerque since 1987.

“At MFA, our team works day in and day out to help ensure New Mexicans have access to affordable housing, but it’s a rare moment when we have the opportunity to be the boots on the ground,” said MFA Executive Director/CEO Isidoro Hernandez, who helped with the Habitat for Humanity construction project. “This was a meaningful day for us, as we used our own hands to help build what will soon be a place Albuquerque families will call home.”

Habitat for Humanity is one of the largest participants in MFA’s Partners Program, which is used to purchase mortgages from nonprofit housing organizations as a way for the organizations to generate operating capital.

Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity and Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity also have MFA-approved developments that may directly receive donations from the New Mexico State Tax Credit Program. Donations from individuals and businesses aid in constructing affordable housing statewide, offering a 50% state tax credit based on the value of the donation. Donations may be made directly to developers – such as Habitat for Humanity – with MFA-approved developments and may include land, buildings, monetary funds or services. Donations made to the New Mexico Affordable Housing Charitable Trust, a 501(c)3 organization administered by MFA, may include cash, stocks or bonds, with a minimum amount of $200 and maximum amount of $2 million.

Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity held a dedication ceremony June 3 for the homes being built in southeast Albuquerque and plans two more dedications at the location June 15 and 29. This development was awarded $674,682 as part of the 2022 New Mexico Affordable Housing State Tax Credit Program. The purpose of the tax credits was to enable Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity – as the sponsor – to generate contributions to assist with new construction of the seven single-family homes for households with incomes at or below 60% of the Area Median Income. For example, in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area, 60% of the Area Median Income for a family of four is $51,840.

“The New Mexico State Tax Credit program has singularly been the most beneficial aspect of our new construction fundraising campaign,” said Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Doug Champlin. “It provides our donors with an incredible incentive to increase their giving while receiving tax benefits on their gifts, annual distributions and planned gifts. We could not have planned or started construction on our newest seven-home neighborhood on Clifton Southeast without this program.”

To learn more about how to donate directly to Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity’s and Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity’s MFA-approved developments through the State Tax Credit Program, please visit https://housingnm.org/developers/state-tax-credits/approved-developments-donate-directly. To learn more about all of MFA’s programs and services, visit housingnm.org.

On a glorious, breezy Saturday morning, Elvira Saenz, a single mother to three children, received the keys to her new Habitat home.  Eyes filled with tears, her voice broke as she thanked Mountainside United Methodist Church, the official sponsor of the Joann Cahill home, all the SWAT volunteers who worked so diligently to build her home, Graeter Albuquerque Habitat staff and board members who assisted in all aspects of making Elvira’s dream of home ownership a reality.

Kicking off the ceremony was Reverand Wimberly of Mountainside Methodist Church who administered the invocation, blessed the house and presented Elvira with a Bible for her family and a bottle of blessed oil to keep. 

Various other speakers from both the church and representing GAHH board and staff, presented Elvira with handmade quilts for her and the children, a basket of necessities for the house, a hand-made bookshelf and a Barnes and Noble gift card to purchase books, a toolbox and hammer to get the new homeowner started, and finally, the keys.

Then, with a smile so wide and beautiful, she accepted the scissors from Doug Champlin, GAHH Executive Director, and snipped the red ribbon crossing her front porch.  It was official!  Never again would she have to worry about the rent being raised, or the neighborhood where her kids played – this was her forever home.

The movers were coming that same day with her furniture and as the ceremony concluded, the kids ran inside to claim their bedrooms and excitedly talked about how they would decorate.

In her words, “God brought us to this day.  He heard my prayers and answered them and I will be forever grateful to all involved.  Thank you so very much.”

That’s all the changes I believe we have now.  After July 1, I will need to re-categorize the four Board Officers a new ones will take over. 

Albuquerque, NM, February 15, 2024- Unirac, a leading provider of solar racking solutions, is excited to announce its partnership with Affordable Solar to bring solar energy to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Albuquerque, NM. This collaboration showcases the two companies’ 25+ years of commitment to the community and their dedication to supporting the mission of Habitat for Humanity.

The installation of a $150,000, 43kW solar panel system on the ReStore Building is scheduled to begin Monday February 12th. This state-of-the-art system is estimated to save Habitat for Humanity approximately $11,000 per year.

“We are grateful to partner with Unirac and Affordable Solar on this solar initiative,” says Doug Champlin, Executive Director at the Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity. ” The installation of a state-of-the-art solar panel system at the ReStore marks a step towards reducing our carbon footprint and redirecting savings back into our core mission of building affordable housing and supporting our local community. Our heartfelt thanks go to Unirac and Affordable Solar for their dedication and generosity in making this project a reality.”

At Unirac, we believe in the power of solar energy to transform communities, and this project aligns perfectly with our commitment to help create a sustainable future for all.” said Sean Linn, COO at Unirac. By providing our innovative racking and mounting solutions, we aim to make solar a reality for Habitat for Humanity, allowing them to save money on energy costs and further amplify their impact in the community.

Projects like this are at the core of both Unirac and Affordable Solar’s community engagement. Affordable Solar previously donated a solar + storage system at cost to Road Runner Food Bank that allows them to serve an extra 160,000 meals a year with the electric bill savings they capture. In 2020 Unirac lead the effort on a donated solar system for Joy Junction that provides an estimated savings of $4,000 per year giving Joy Junction the ability to redirect the funds back to their important work in our community.

“At Affordable Solar, our commitment to the community is not just a mission; it’s in our DNA. We have proudly served New Mexico for over 25 years, and this partnership with Unirac and Habitat for Humanity is a testament to our unwavering dedication to making a positive impact on our local community.” said Wayne Stansfield, General Manager at Affordable Solar. This solar project with Habitat for Humanity reflects our values and showcases how we strive to reduce carbon footprints while simultaneously reducing energy expenses for organizations that do such essential work in our community.

The collaboration between Unirac, Affordable Solar, and Habitat for Humanity reflects the shared values of all three organizations, as they come together to make a positive impact on the environment and the local community.

To support the Habitat for Humanity, ReStore solar project visit https://habitatabq.org/donate-to-restore-goes-solar

About Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity

Founded in 1987, Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity works with local business partners and volunteers to provide quality, affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families in greater Albuquerque. In 2022, Habitat expanded its affiliate coverage area to include southern Sandoval County.

Habitat homeowners invest 350 sweat-equity hours helping to build their own home alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage with a zero percent interest rate. To learn more, go to www.habitatabq.org.

About Unirac

A pioneer in solar racking, Unirac has been North America’s leading manufacturer of solar PV mounting systems for over 25 years. The premier U.S. solar racking manufacturer with products that outlive their warranties, Unirac has more than 25 GW of experience and over 2.5 million installations that back up their engineering service and supply-chain excellence. Unirac is committed to being a partner throughout the full project lifecycle. At Unirac, Better Solar Starts Here. Learn more at www.unirac.com.

About Affordable Solar

Affordable Solar has been New Mexico’s most trusted residential & commercial solar installer since 1998. Our mission is to build trust in the renewable energy transition by delivering the best possible customer experience to our community members. We take pride in being dedicated to the New Mexico community and have been an industry leader in community service throughout the years. www.thinkaffordablesolar.com

© 2024 Habitat ABQ