by: Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership Staff
Our greatest investment is our children, our greatest responsibility is to our elders
For all of us, success in life starts at home. When children have a safe and secure place to live, they are healthier and happier and their families are stronger, making our communities stronger, too. We at the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership believe that everyone deserves to live in a home that is affordable, in a neighborhood of their choice, and where they can fully participate in their community. Unfortunately, here in Albuquerque we have a severe shortage of homes which is pushing up the cost of housing beyond what people can afford.
Many low-wage workers and other low-income renters pay a large portion of their income toward rent because they lack more affordable alternatives...Some extremely low-income families and families with children may not be able to afford paying even 30% of their income toward housing because doing so would leave them with too little left to cover other necessary costs. (Out of Reach Report 2022, National Low Income Housing Coalition)
Increased rents and home prices are driving more and more people into making difficult decisions such as whether to pay rent or buy food, buy clothes for their children or purchase medicine. Many people are being forced out of the housing they rely on into a housing market with very few options available and at much higher prices. At worst, families are forced into precarious or unhoused situations. These are untenable choices for any of us and cause actual harm to many people in our community.
Recently, Mary came to us desperately looking for housing for herself and her disabled aunt. She was losing the fight against the 4th property management company in 2 years to take over the small rental where they have lived for the past 20 years. She did not know how she, at 74 years old, and her aunt, at 90, were going to survive homelessness. Jane contacted us looking for a three-bedroom apartment for her family of five. She recently received an eviction notice because the property was sold to a new owner. She was within days of being out on the street and desperate for assistance of any kind. With all our properties currently 100% occupied and with waitlists, the best we could offer at this time were referrals to eviction prevention services and legal aid while providing words of encouragement.
Ordinance O-22-54 provides Albuquerque with multiple ways to address this crisis and increase the housing supply so that, in time, everyone will have access to housing they can afford. The Mayor’s Housing Forward Plan was built upon proven strategies that will move us toward solving the housing crisis in Albuquerque. We urge everyone to support the Housing Forward initiative and Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) changes that allow increased housing options for all Burquenos.
Our greatest investment is in our children and the successes they will have with a safe and stable place to live. Our greatest responsibility is to our elders on fixed incomes, so they have security and financial stability. We ask you to please vote yes in favor of O-22-54.