ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Construction is finally underway on the controversial tiny home village, after years of debate over the location.
“I’m always very surprised at how quickly things get built once they get underway,” said Commissioner Debbie O’Malley with Bernalillo County.
O’Malley says she, and a team of people, fought to make this development happen for years. “There are the naysayers. There are those people,” said O’Malley.
After debate over where the village would go, community leaders chose land owned by the Albuquerque Indian Center on Zuni between Tennessee and Texas. “It’s a realization of a dream that we’ve had for a long time, to provide more than just what we’re doing right now but to provide additional services,” said Mary Garcia, the executive director of the Albuquerque Indian Center, in 2018.
Crews broke ground in January on 30 tiny homes that are able to house 30-45 people. The county says both couples and singles will be accepted. “I think what’s going to be very important for people to understand is this is a transitional housing development. It’s not a shelter. It has a different approach in terms of the expectations of people who live here,” said O’Malley.
The village is considered transitional housing. People who live there will be asked to pay $30 to help teach fiscal responsibility. Though, exceptions can be made. “This is really an opportunity for some folks. Some may not take advantage of it, we have to be realistic about that, but it does give an opportunity for people to get some financial stability and also improve their health and well-being,” said O’Malley.
The tiny home village is a first for Albuquerque. If all goes according to plan, the first residents should be able to move in by October.
O’Malley says, within the next few weeks, the county will have a system in place for people to apply to live in the tiny homes.
In all, voters approved more than $2 million to fund this project.