Created: August 17, 2020 06:10 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Boards now cover the doors and windows of four problem buildings that were full of squatters at the Rising Phoenix Apartments. The property owners cleared them out to avoid facing legal action with the city of Albuquerque, but now many of the former residents are left with no place to go.
"As long as the new owner continues to invest in the property, get it up to code, make it a safe place to live, we're going to work with them and we're going to hold off on any court action, because the goal here is to make this a safe place,” said Albuquerque City Councilman Pat Davis.
City e-mails show the new company in charge of rehabilitating the place is called Greystar Real Estate Partners. KOB 4 reached out to the company to ask about their plans for the buildings, but they didn’t reply before this story’s deadline.
Residents who live in other buildings at the Rising Phoenix said they’re pleased with the increased security and are happy to see the problem buildings being cleaned up.
As for the squatters, the city is offering some assistance.
"APD has been offering housing vouchers and transportation to the shelter. It's my understanding no one has taken them up on that, but that's part of that process,” Councilman Davis said.
A private security guard for the property said a lot of the squatters moved to the park behind the Rising Phoenix—just north of the New Mexico Veterans Memorial.
In a press release, city officials said multiple agencies are doing outreach to help people find housing, but some of the former squatters said they haven’t been offered any resources.
"We know they're in those parks,” Davis said. “We have those regular check-ins, but they have to be willing to accept that help."
The step for property managers will be to get the buildings up to code, install security gates and fencing, and install cameras.
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