New CABQ initiative looks to move "Housing Forward"
On a brisk Monday afternoon, Albuquerque city officials announced a new housing initiative called “Housing Forward ABQ.”
They unveiled this new package in the shadow of the Hiland Plaza construction site, which is a product of the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership that will comprise majority affording housing units designed for members of the deaf community.
The creation of affordable housing was the main topic of Monday’s press conference and goal of this new initiative.
A press release sent out by the City of Albuquerque said nearly half of the city’s renters are “housing cost-burdened”, which means they spend over 30% of their income on housing.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said this new series of strategies will help the City address the problem at its core.
“This is a bold, multi-pronged approach to address the housing crisis head on, and this plan set a goal for city and city partners to create 5000 new units by 2025.”
In order to reach this lofty goal, the “Housing Forward” will focus on certain key objectives.
The first is converting hotel/motel properties into supportive/affordable housing.
Next, the city will look into the conversion of commercial/office buildings into housing as well.
The expansion of nuisance abatement laws for properties deemed to be magnets for crime is also one of the options included in the package, with the ultimate goal of converting these properties into housing units when it is appropriate to do so.
The city will also look at expanding the housing workforce, allowing more options in housing types in the city zoning code, increasing availability to casitas and diverse housing options and also adjusting parking requirements, to allow for high density and more infill housing.
Another barrier to housing this program will address is access to it.
The city will focus on the source of income requirements, creating a housing stability fund, limiting short term rentals and looking into tenant protections.
All together, this suite of strategies is what Keller said will help keep more people housed in Albuquerque.
“The Housing Forward Albuquerque plan is meant to meet the immediate and long term needs of the city and make sure the city is a place that folks from all walks of life can call home.”