ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local movement is catching the eye of Albuquerque city councilors. On Monday, councilors will vote on whether or not to urge state legislators to lift a ban on rent control.
The Peoples Housing Project has been gathering petition signatures and demonstrating outside of City Council sine January. They’re trying to end the state’s ban on rent control. Monday could be a big step forward for them in their mission.
“We’re hoping that the City Council votes yes on the memorial urging the state legislature to end the prohibition on rent control,” said Peoples Housing Project Organizer Bex Hampton.
Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn is sponsoring a memorial that would determine whether or not its the city’s role to regulate housing. On Monday, city councilors will vote on it. Back in June, KRQE told viewers that rent has gone up 22% from last year. A two-bedroom apartment is averaging $1,400 a month.
The Peoples Housing Project said they are tired of rent being raised on tenants and believes local and state governments need to protect them. However, City Councilor Pat Davis said it’s out of the City’s hands.
“Unfortunately not everything the city can do by itself. The rent control is governed by the state legislature. There’s a law in place that says cities can’t interfere with rental contracts. That movement eventually will have to land at the state legislature,” said Councilor Davis.
Davis said they are coming up with different strategies to address affordable housing. According to Davis, city councilors have funded $20 million to go towards buying old motels and converting them to low income housing.
Davis said Monday’s vote is really just symbolic, showing that the City of Albuquerque is asking the state legislature to take a look at the state’s prohibition on rent. So far, the Peoples Housing Project has helped urge city councilors to pass legislation ending discrimination against people who use housing vouchers which was successfully passed.
Even though it is on the agenda tomorrow, there is no guarantee there will be a final vote. It will be up to the sponsors to pass it. Monday’s City Council meeting starts at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers.