Business Section

Tuesday - September 14th, 1999

City Panel Endorses Purchase Of More Affordable Apartments

¡ Front Page

By Olivier Uyttebrouck
Journal Staff Writer

Amendment would give nonprofit group responsibility of managing some units

housing program.

Yes Housing Inc., the housing subsidiary of Youth Development Inc., would manage 50 percent of the city's portfolio of affordable-housing apartments under Armijo's proposed amendment.  Armijo also sponsored the bill authorizing the apartment purchases.

Lewinger Hamilton, an Albuquerque property-management company, manages seven apartment complexes with 504 units in the city's affordable-housing program.  Under the proposed amendment, Lewinger Hamilton would share management responsibilities with Yes Housing Inc.

Todd Clarke, an investment broker for Lewinger Hamilton, said the firm went through a competitive bidding process to get the contract to manage the apartments in the early 1990s.

Clarke said he doesn't know why the city wants Yes Housing to assume management responsibilities for half the affordable-housing program.

A City Council committee on Monday narrowly endorsed spending $23 million to add 658 units to the city's affordable-housing program by buying three apartment complexes.

Councilor Ruth Adams said she has some concerns about the purchase and intends to look into it further before the full council takes the issue up next month.

"It just began to smell the more I listened to it," Adams said after the meeting of the council's Finance Committee.

Councilors Alan Armijo, Tim Cummins and Vince Griego recommended approval of the purchase while Adams and Councilor Michael Brasher were opposed.

The City would pay for the purchase by refinancing the bonded debt on three other apartment complexes in the affordable-housing program.

Adams and Brasher also opposed an amendment introduced by Armijo that would give a nonprofit corporation management control of half of the city's affordable-

Armijo said after the meeting he introduced the amendment because he thinks the city should divide its properties between for-profit and nonprofit firms.

The council is scheduled to consider the proposal Oct. 4.

The three apartment complexes include Central Park Apartments, 4300 Pan American; International House Apartments, 1201 Madeira, and Summit Apartments, address unavailable.