History of the Office of Neighborhood Coordination

Learn about the history of the City of Albuquerque's Office of Neighborhood Coordination.

Office of Neighborhood Coordination History

Twilight skyline

In 1985, the Office of Neighborhood Coordination (ONC) was created within the City’s Department of Human Services, initially having only two staff members. By 1987, the ONC expanded to a 14-member staff.

Over the next couple of years, a Task Force consisting of neighborhood representatives, city staff, and citizens at large worked on legislation to create the “Neighborhood Association Recognition Ordinance.” During these years, many meetings were held before it was presented to the City Council. This Ordinance was adopted on March 16th, 1987 by an 8-1 vote.

A fall landscape of the Albuquerque bosque

In July of that same year, the ONC was placed in another department, called the Office of Neighborhood Services, following the election of then-Mayor Ken Schultz. The Office of Neighborhood Services consisted of three divisions: Office of Neighborhood Crime Prevention with a staff of five; Office of Neighborhood Coordination with a staff of two; the Office of Fire Prevention with a staff of three; and the Administration Division of Neighborhood Services with a staff of four.

The ONC was later moved under the Family and Community Services Department, then administratively under the Planning Department in 1998, as part of one-stop-shop to better assist citizens in obtaining various applications, licenses, and permits in one building and department. Due to various budgetary issues, staffing resources were gradually reduced to two full-time staff members. The ONC remained within the Planning Department until a City Council vote of 8-1 on January 18, 2017, decided to formally transfer the office under the auspices of the City Council Services, effective April 1, 2017. The Council determined that ONC would better be able to serve the citizens and neighborhood groups within the city by being able to offer a wider variety of services. Additionally, City Council Services enabled the ONC to reach a broader audience and expand their staffing resources to offer additional communication, training, and outreach.

A roof garden view of Downtown Albuquerque

Neighborhood News

Starting in the early years of the ONC, a monthly newsletter called “Neighborhood News” was sent to neighborhood representatives to inform them about happenings in city government and to increase communications between neighborhood associations. The newsletter consists of articles celebrating neighborhoods, about various city department initiatives that benefit neighborhoods, and ONC sponsored workshops. The mailing list for the newsletter continues to grow, representing the many citizens and government officials in Albuquerque who are interested in the impact neighborhoods have on this City. Currently, the newsletter is also available online.

Neighborhood Associations

An Albuquerque neighborhood framed with flowers

The first known neighborhood association in Albuquerque was the Stronghurst Improvement Association which, in 1991, listed itself as being in existence for 60 years, demonstrating that neighborhood associations have been alive and well in our city for almost 100 years. Even before the actual conception of the ONC, neighborhood associations in Albuquerque were on the move, working hard to make their areas safer, cleaner, and more pleasant. Over the years, the number of neighborhood associations and homeowner associations that the ONC serves has grown to approximately 250, representing all four quadrants and nine council districts citywide. The neighborhood groups are a cross-section of individuals who have one goal and purpose: to make their neighborhoods better places to live.