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City Outlines Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing

Zoning changes, funding requests and new programs to add units faster.
September 19, 2023

Last fall, the City launched Housing Forward ABQ to address the urgent housing shortage and set the goal of building 5,000 units in 5 years. In June 2023, amendments to the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) passed, allowing casitas to be built across the city and making it easier to convert hotels and commercial buildings to housing. The Health, Housing, and Homelessness department announced a multi-pronged approach to build on the success of the recent zoning changes and spur quicker construction of affordable housing.

“Governments have two levers to pull for affordable housing: land use and subsidies” said Joseph Montoya, Deputy Director of Housing. “We’ve done some work on land use but now it’s time to make sure we have the funding and programs in place to get out of this hole and keep Albuquerque affordable for working families.”

The City’s rate of affordable housing production has been approximately 200-250 units a year for the last five years. The following strategies will help expedite the City’s production as we move toward building 1,000 units of affordable housing a year:

  1. Leverage internal and external funding, property, and administrative resources
    1. Combine City and County efforts to create more housing through the Middle Rio Grande Housing Collaborative
    2. Expedite planning approvals for affordable housing developments.
    3. Identify City, Bernalillo County, and State land resources for development.
  2. Administrative Changes
    1. Open RFPs to for-profit developers.
    2. Align Request for Proposals (RPFs) programmatically with the MFA to maximize available tax credits for each project.
    3. Create funding packages for developers.
    4. Create a list of previous tax credit projects losing their affordability.
  3. Enact New Programs
    1. Establish a loan fund for affordable accessory dwelling units (casitas).
    2. Create a motel conversion assistance program.
    3. Develop an apartment to condo conversion program to increase home-ownership opportunities.
    4. Support non-profits with pre-development costs and build non-profit capacity.
  4. Enhanced Housing Trust Fund
    1. Identify source of permanent funding at approximately $20 Million a year; ensuring flexibility needed to support many programs.

Over the last five years, the City has supported 31 new construction or rehabilitation projects, which have created 2,224 total housing units, 1,021 of which are subsidized to be affordable to low and moderate-income residents. City funds have also administrated 11 housing related programs including eviction prevention, mortgage assistance, legal aid, and homeowner rehabilitation that have served 42,476 people.