Luna Lodge in Albuquerque, NM has won a 2013 Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award in the Special Needs Housing category.

Developed by NewLife Homes, Luna Lodge located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, provides 30 critically needed units of affordable rental housing targeted residents with special needs. Originally built as a motel in 1949 on what was formerly the famous Route 66, Luna Lodge was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The area surrounding Luna Lodge is characterized by very low-income levels and is known for its multiculturalism and high immigrant population. 

Many residents of Luna Lodge are homebound due to physical and mental disabilities. In fact, one third of units are set-aside to house persons with disabilities. In order to promote their independence and stability, a service coordinator meets with residents to identify their individual needs and assists with coordinating services through local community partners. Residents benefit from food delivery, life-skills classes, financial literacy training and counseling in addition to numerous social opportunities. 

In addition to meeting exacting standards required by the National Historic Register, Luna Lodge conforms to LEED Platinum specifications. Great care was given to retain the distinctive Pueblo Style architecture of the old motel. Each apartment is designed with an open floor plan with a natural cross breeze and passive solar gain. For the new two story apartments, there are views of the majestic Sandia Mountains to the east and the wide expanse of the West Mesa to the west. Both new and renovated units have energy star rated appliances designed to reduce utility bills by up to 40 percent. 

Despite a challenging start which required development to begin a year later than planned, Luna Lodge combined numerous financing sources to make the property financially feasible. Over $2.8 million in Housing Credits, syndicated by RBC Capital Markets, was combined with grants from the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) Land Title Trusts Fund, and the Federal Home Loan Bank AHP program. Additionally, the MFA provided a $1 million loan from its Housing Trust Fund. 

Luna Lodge received the highest overall score through the competitive Housing Credit application process in New Mexico for 2010 applications and was awarded maximum points for “efficient use of tax credits.” 

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