Albuquerque nonprofit discusses the link between lack of affordable housing and crime

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There are many complicated factors driving crime in Albuquerque. It turns out there’s a connection between crime and affordable housing in the community.

“We’re expecting huge increases in homelessness due to rising rents and our lack of affordable housing,” said Rachel Biggs with the Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless Inc. 

Biggs presented to state lawmakers at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, she talked about the link between homelessness and crime.

“So people that are homeless are much more likely to be arrested and in jail than people that are housed and if people don’t have the adequate discharge, planning, and supports they are much more likely to experience homelessness upon release,” said Biggs. 

As for a solution? Biggs told lawmakers that mass homeless shelters are not reasonable alternatives and instead they should focus on long-term affordable housing to solve the problem.

“We have the data and the evidence to support housing first, rental subsidies, investment in affordable housing and making sure people are able to maintain their housing, are really the most cost-effective approaches to addressing our homelessness crisis and to addressing our criminal justice concerns as well,” said Biggs.