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New owner renovates affordable apartments

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An Albuquerque property owner is doing a complete renovation of a southside apartment project that will provide affordable units to the community. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

A Roswell affordable apartment building is in the midst of major renovations.

Pueblo de Chamisa at 1800 S. Pennsylvania Ave., across from Roswell High School, is receiving new roofing, new heating and air conditioning systems, interior renovations and other major work throughout the property, said Adam Trubow, owner of Tal Realty Inc. of Albuquerque.

“We are bringing all the units up,” Trubow said. “We are not adding any square footage. We are working on what was existing.”

He said that Tal Realty took over the property in September 2018 as its first large-scale investment in Roswell, although he and his partners have other office, housing, storage and investment properties in Carlsbad, Espanola and Albuquerque.

“We think there is a high demand for affordable housing here,” he said. “It gave us a chance to create a product that hasn’t really been available.”

He said that the apartments will offer granite counters, new paint and new flooring. At the same time, it is aimed specifically at low-income residents.

“As far as I know, when we took over, the property was not accepting (Housing and Urban Development) vouchers,” he said.

Sometimes known as Section 8 or Choice Vouchers, HUD federal rental assistance is offered through regional housing authorities, enabling renters whose income is at or near the poverty level to have all or portions of their rent paid.

The Eastern Regional Housing Authority (ERHA) that serves 12 counties and has its offices on East Reed Street in Roswell confirmed that Pueblo de Chamisa is a voucher-qualified project and that residents who have already gone through the process to be eligible for vouchers can move in when units are ready.

Trubow said that all renovations are expected to take about six months, although roofing will be completed in a couple of weeks and other outdoor work within a month or so. He said the plan is to renovate one unit at a time until all 60 are upgraded.

Previously residents had been paying as low as $400 a month for one-bedroom units, he said, with those low rates indicative of the poor condition of the property. About five of the 15 tenants living at the project when he and his partners took over have remained, he said.

After renovations, the rents will range from $688 a month for one-bedroom to $1,167 for three-bedroom units, he said, explaining that the rates are approved by HUD. Applications are being taken now, with contact information available at talrealty.com. He said tenants will need to have no criminal records and no recent evictions.

He added that the property is intended to offer a sense of community, with visits from Santa Claus and other types of events and programs for families planned.

Chaves County has about 10 apartment complexes with units available for low-income tenants, according to affordablehousingonline.com. More than 200 people were on the HUD voucher waiting list in November 2018, according to the ERHA. More funding allocations for the region are expected this year, with an announcement about open applications expected within a couple of weeks.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.