‘ABQ at Home’ Change City’s Approach to Housing Insecurity, Homelessness

Incumbent Mayor Tim Keller’s administration has developed a program called “ABQ at Home” to address housing insecurity and homelessness–a plan that has invested nearly $450 million already. The plan is designed to help Albuquerque residents get into and stay in their homes through the following programs:

  1. Creating New Housing: Since 2018, the City has helped complete 880 rental units through new construction, acquisition, or rehabilitation, totaling $22.7 million in direct investment. Today, another 1,010 units are in the pipeline through $18.4 million in direct investment. With these investments, the City has leveraged over $335 million in outside funding from the private sector and from federal programs.
  2. Supporting Housing Vouchers: Supportive housing helps people and families exit homelessness permanently. It helps tenants pay rent with housing vouchers, and provides services to help tenants stay in their homes. The City has increased funding for supportive housing vouchers by 73% to over $11 million this year. In total, the City has invested over $38 million in supportive housing since 2018 — keeping 1,000 formerly homeless families in homes.
  3. Home Rehab: Rehabilitation and maintenance are a critical, and at times, costly part of homeownership. When homeowners are struggling to take care of their homes, it can lead to unsafe, undesirable conditions. The City allocated $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for home rehab that will be distributed to qualifying low and moderate-income households through Neighborhood Opportunity Grants.
  4. Rental and Down Payment Assistance: Ensuring that families can continue to afford housing took on a new urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City directed $24 million of federal funds to rental and utility assistance, all of which has been distributed. The City has also invested an additional $1.5 million in an eviction prevention program since 2018. In addition to supporting renters, the City launched an initiative in 2018 to help Albuquerque residents become homeowners, and has dedicated $3.4 million to date in City funding for this effort.

The City of Albuquerque is also increasing emergency shelter options and adding transitional housing. Programs in place today include: Coordinated street outreach to people living in public spaces; conversion of the Westside Emergency Housing Center to a year-round shelter, doubling the number of year-round shelter beds available; launching a new $21.4 million emergency rental assistance program to keep people housed who are in danger of being evicted; and acquiring the Gateway Center, which is the largest capital investment in the City’s history to address homelessness.  The Center will integrate services from shelter to vouchers to mental and behavioral health supports.