Amid housing shortage in ABQ, workshop aims to brainstorm solutions

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Urban Land Institute’s New Mexico chapter held an open workshop to try to solve Albuquerque’s housing crisis.

At the workshop Friday, the room was filled with different developers, architects, landlords and many others to try to come up with solutions.

“We think about individuals experiencing homelessness, we think about renters, then we think about ownership, but it’s all connected,” said Rebecca Velarde, the senior director of Policy and Planning with MFA Housing New Mexico. “Because it’s all connected, this problem is really important.”

During the workshop, a “housing needs” forecast was presented in comparison to all of the new jobs the city has seen, from Netflix to Amazon. To accommodate this new growth, there are certain numbers needed for housing to keep up with the population within the next 15 years.

“We need to build an average of 5,100 housing units per year, each year, for the next five years,” Velarde said.

Despite the different sources of housing issues, most people want the same goal of having affordable accessible housing.

“It has a lot of different causes, but we believe, and our vision is that if we bring everyone together at the table, we can figure it out,” said Dan Majewski, the director of ULI New Mexico.

After the workshop session, officials said all of the brainstormed solutions will be compiled in the next few weeks so they will have a tangible plan to move forward.