Mia Augustson's life was affected financially when her landlord increased her rent by more than $200 earlier this year.

Renters look to the city for support as bills rise

By Hemaja Burud


They now have to deal with yet another obstacle: once their lease ends at the end of the year, they will be relocated due to scheduled complicated repairs.


It financed study two years ago that revealed Albuquerque was 15,500 affordable units short of satisfying the needs of its poorest inhabitants.


While some residents are advocating for rent control, councilors and other municipal officials have emphasized that local governments are not permitted by state law to implement such a program.


According to Lisa Huval, the city's deputy director for housing, the state and city collaborated to provide millions of dollars in federal rental and utility assistance to the area last year.


Huval, however, said that the city considers a lack of homes to be the main problem. Simply said, the city requires additional homes at all price points.


A recent zoning reform has made it simpler to purchase hotels and turn them into inexpensive efficiency flats, one of the city's most recent projects.


This spring, the City Council also authorized borrowing $20 million as part of a $100 million package of gross receipts tax bonds for affordable housing, 


A meeting between landlords and renters and a CORA staff member may be requested by judges handling eviction cases.


For tenants, the city offers both internal and external legal aid. The city's Office of Civil Rights handles housing complaints and sporadically provides legal assistance.


Three outside housing attorneys are now paid for by the city thanks to agreements with New Mexico Legal Aid and the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.