State Senator Nancy Rodriguez wants to see a big increase in the amount of funding allocated for New Mexico’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Rodriguez wants to see the dollars earmarked for the fund increased to 70-million dollars from its current 15.
She says the fund is generating 30 dollars for every one dollar spent so it makes sense to increase the fund so more people can be helped.
Last year Rodriguez sponsored a bill to expand the trust fund so it can be used based on need and for housing renovations instead of just as a competition among developers.
She says the definition of what qualifies as affordable housing needs to be expanded.
“Affordable is not what’s affordable to you, what could be affordable to him or her and so this threshold they have as a definition for affordable, it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work,” she said.
Rodriguez also says she supports some of the major portions of the budget proposed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, particularly a seven-percent pay hike for all public education-related employees and higher starting pay for teachers to be more competitive with neighboring states. Both are also included in the budget proposed by the Legislative Finance Committee.
Rodriguez is vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
She and other lawmakers met with business leaders on Thursday with the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce.