ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After backing off during the pandemic, the City of Albuquerque said it’s going to start going after owners of rundown abandoned homes again. City Council introduced five nuisance properties during their meeting on Monday.
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Brennon Williams, the Director of the Planning Department with the city said there was a slow-down this past year when it comes to these types of properties. But they’re getting back on track. “Life seems to be getting a little bit back to normal and the shift goes back to where it was pre-pandemic and we will continue to work on these problem properties because of the issues they create within the community, it’s something that has to be done,” Williams said.
Williams said there are more than 1,200 vacant homes and businesses in Albuquerque. About 250 of those are considered nuisance properties, meaning they’ve been abandoned for more than a year and attract crime. Williams said 20 to 30 nuisance properties get presented to city council each year and owners can fix them up or the city will tear them down.
However, this past year that number was down to about 15 as half of the city’s nearly 20 property inspectors were helping out on the city’s covid enforcement efforts. For city council, demolition is a last resort.
“Our goal here is to take those worst of the worst properties, get them into a position where someone can come in, purchase them and rebuild them,” said City Councilor Pat Davis. “We don’t want to just tear down neighborhoods. We want to identify those, find good partners, and build these neighborhoods back up.”
Councilor Davis said under the Keller administration they’ve created a new “Adapt Team” that partners with the police and fire departments to pinpoint these nuisance properties based on calls for service or calls by neighbors.
The council usually takes action on these nuisance properties within 30 days. Williams said of the 20 to 30 nuisance properties presented to the council each year, only three or four are actually torn down.