ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While the Albuquerque city council voted this week to place a moratorium on sanctioned homeless camps, one neighborhood is still fighting to keep a camp out of their area. The city approved plans to put a sanctioned homeless camp here. But, with the new moratorium, it’s unclear what will happen next.
The Martineztown – Santa Barbara neighborhood says it will keep moving forward with its appeal. They say it was like a rug pulled out from right under them. Loretta Naranjo Lopez, president of the neighborhood association for Matineztown – Santa Barbara, says, “As you can understand, very angry that the city didn’t even have the decency to meet with us.”
Before the city council voted to place a moratorium on the safe outdoor spaces earlier this week, the city had already approved a lot just outside Menaul and I-25 for a camp that would hold up to 50 people.
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“We cannot take it anymore. Something has to get done. There has to be a plan. And they need to listen to the community,” said Naranjo Lopez.
The Martineztown – Santa Barbara neighborhood held a meeting Thursday night. Residents say the city never reached out to them about the plans, and they feel constantly neglected. “We have no services here no community center for the seniors or the youth. We were, we’re tired of what they’ve done to us,” said Naranjo Lopez.
It’s not clear how the moratorium will impact this homeless camp. The association had already filed an appeal to block it. The city granted a hearing Thursday. “You know, now they’re hearing our voice, you know, they apparently it didn’t seem like they just, they had a, they had a solution. You know, they shut down Coronado park without having a solution,” said Victor Apodaca, a neighbor.
The neighborhood’s appeal also claims the city fast-tracked the application for a homeless camp here and made the decision behind closed doors without public comment. So that it would be approved before the council’s vote to pause the camps
It’s not clear when the hearing for the appeal will take place. The city’s moratorium is not in effect yet. The mayor has up to ten days to decide whether he wants to keep or veto the resolution. If not, applications will be paused for a year.