Albuquerque leaders set priorities for upcoming legislative session
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and city leaders outlined their priorities for the upcoming legislative session Thursday. They are focused on public safety, continuing to build solutions for housing and homelessness, and neighborhood upgrades that improve quality of life for families.
Albuquerque is struggling with housing and a growing population of unhoused people.
“I know our city is struggling – 30,000 units, that is how many short we are,” Rep. Cristina Parajón said. “The average rent in Albuquerque is $1,235. If you want to buy, like many folks my age who are young, starting your career, maybe a young family, the median price of a house is $339,000.”
Leaders are asking lawmakers to put $20 million toward affordable housing projects like the Los Altos Lofts. Officials converted the 104-room hotel into 94 studios and one-bedroom apartments. They would like to knock out a few more of those projects next year.
“Another reason we are here today is because this project is a way to exemplify that if you invest in us, we can execute,” said Gilbert Ramirez, Housing and Homelessness director. “We will get it up and running and we will have these services available.”
The rent-controlled apartments will range between $700 to $900 a month.
When it comes to short-term help and service, the city is asking the Legislature for another $10 million.
“We opened it, a Family Housing Navigation Center to take in those families,” Ramirez said. “We saw an overwhelming amount of folks that came in and needed help. With that, I can say that 1,178 people or roughly 269 families have been successfully housed.”
That funding would further their efforts to support people transitioning into housing. They are also asking for 200 more emergency beds.
The city also has smaller neighborhood improvement projects for lawmakers to look over.
- $22 million to expand the Real Time Crime Center and police technology
- $10 million to invest in public safety field technology to support officers in their jobs
- $14 million to improve safety and appeal of state highways and roads within the metro area
- $19.5 million for the construction of new fire stations and facilities in communities that have great need
- $18 million for the construction of a police substation in southwest Albuquerque and the University area
SOLUTIONS FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
- $20 million to support the construction of affordable housing to combat Albuquerque’s housing shortage
- $10 million to add overnight capacity for 200 individuals each night
PLACEMAKING AND QUALITY OF LIFE
- $25 million to continue preserving and upgrading the historic Rail Yards into a hub for economic activity in the heart of Albuquerque
- $30 million to continue the Rail Trail project, bringing needed safety improvements to many intersections and creating opportunities for families, creators, and visitors to enjoy Albuquerque’s historic neighborhoods
For a look at CABQ’s entire list of funding priorities for the upcoming legislative session, click here.