Housing authority gets grant

William Thompson

The Tucumcari Housing Authority was recently awarded a grant of more than $180,000 trom the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Tucumcari’s housing authority director, Robert Pacheco, said the grant money will go for new furnaces for all public housing units. “We will be contracting with the city electrician to install brand new state of the art furnaces and individual meters,” said Pacheco. “The furnaces will have electronic ignition, so they will be more energy efficient and safer.”
Pacheco said the current furnaces in public housing units are around 30 years old.

There are currently 90 public housing units. Most units are occupied by low-income families. “We have 235 people on the waiting list for public housing,” said Pacheco. “It takes on average 60 to 90 days to get someone housed in our public housing. Most residents stay about two years. Some residents move to bigger cities and find that it’s too hard to make it in the big cities, so they move back here.”
Pacheco said the annual HUD grants are a boon to the community. “When we get those grants we try to contract with local companies for the construction and repair work,” said Pacheco. “Last year Daniel Construction, a local company, contracted with us to do the stucco work on all of our units.”

Pacheco said he was happy with the HUD grant even though it is thousands of dollars less than the same grant in previous years. “In the past we have received as much as $200,000 or more in a given year, but HUD has been cutting grant money across the board for everybody,” he said. “HUD considers the Tucumcari Housing Authority to be a high-performing housing authority. We received about $15,000 in bonus money from HUD as part of the recent grant.”