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City Council Creates Hospitality Revitalization Working Group

Group to Revamp City’s Motel Voucher Program and address motel blight.
February 05, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque City Council passed Resolution (R-24-5) to create a working group that will examine the City’s blighted motels and will revamp the City’s existing motel voucher program. The bill passed by unanimous vote. The City Council Finance and Government Operations Committee forwarded the measure for immediate action on January 29, 2024.

The resolution creates the Hospitality Renewal Initiative Working Group to reimagine the City's motel voucher program. The bill was sponsored by Councilors Renee Grout (District 9) and (Nichole Rogers District 6) to establish the eleven-member working group and directs members to compile a report that addresses the threat that blighted motels pose to public safety, health, and community well-being.

"Collaboration with stakeholders is essential," said District 9 Councilor Renee Grout. "This Working Group's report will bring together many perspectives and share information on the issues surrounding blighted motels. We look forward to hearing all ideas and developing actionable steps to support hospitality businesses and make sure that the motels in every neighborhood are clean and safe.”

The council resolution considers the need for a responsive and adaptable strategy, while regularly reviewing and enhancing programs that already exist to meet the changing needs of the community. The resolution states that the new working group will explore:
"A. options for efficient enforcement methods to address the most pressing
problems associated with problem motels;
B. options for collaborative and proactive programs to assist motel operators in
providing safe and secure accommodations for guests
C. options for the City to re-imagine the motel voucher program to best serve individuals and
families who need an emergency hotel room for a night or a short, extended stay."

"This renewed approach to finding solutions will help re-imagine our collective response to an emergent need." Councilor Rogers said. "The ordinance engages almost every City Department to work together with both industry leaders and community members with lived experience. The goal is to implement real solutions that will help those experiencing trauma while stimulating the hospitality business sector."

The working group includes representatives from the Mayor's office, the Council Services, five different City Departments and members from the hospitality services industry and members with motel voucher program experience. The group will meet within one month and will meet bi-weekly. The findings and final recommendations are to be submitted to the Council and the Mayor within six months.