More concerns voiced at public meeting over ‘tiny home village’

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There has been more pushback against a new type of housing for the homeless.

A village of tiny homes would be used to help get Albuquerque’s homeless back on their feet, but nobody wants it in their neighborhood.

Bernalillo County has narrowed the project down to six possible sites around the city. More than 100 people showed up Thursday night at a public meeting, voicing their concerns about everything from the cost of the homes to their locations.

Crowds gathered around several “information stations” set up at the fairgrounds to see for themselves the county’s plan for a tiny home village.

County officials answered questions and offered assurance about the project.

“We’ve looked very much at best practices so we could bring a good model here,” said Bernalillo County Public Housing Manager Bernadette Miera.

For some however, it only fueled the fire.

“This is ridiculous; it’s expensive,” said one resident.

Renderings showed a model of a 116-square-foot “tiny home” — and a price tag of $172 per square foot, which some argued isn’t cost effective.

“An underpass gives you more room to sleep in than this little square,” said a resident.

However, others said a solution is necessary, and believe this is it.

“I’d like to see it incorporated at all six of these sites,” said a resident.

“It’s probably bigger than the car I’m living in right now,” said another resident, who is also homeless.

Voters approved $2 million in general obligation bonds for the tiny home village back in 2016.

Yet many, including neighborhood associations, say they don’t have enough information about the impact the project will have on their communities.

They say it seems rushed.

“We are urging the committee to postpone any decisions regarding location,” said Singing Arrow Neighborhood Association President Elena Estrella.

Three of the six proposed sites are along Central Avenue, near some high poverty areas that critics say would be a setback for the homeless trying to better themselves.

Several people at the meeting said they support some type of homeless housing, but disagree with the tiny home village model. The village would house up to 60 individuals, including veterans and couples.

The final public meeting is Saturday, Aug. 18 at Patrick J. Baca Library at 10 a.m. The library is located at 8081 Central Ave. NW.

Public comments can be submitted on the project’s website and will close Sep. 17.

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