ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Pushback against a proposed piece of legislation meant to address the affordable housing crunch in Albuquerque. If passed, the ordinance would put limits on short-term rentals like airbnb’s, hoping it would open up more long-term housing. However, some people say this is not the answer. 

“Short-term rentals are a viable part of our economy and I think by limiting and putting a cap on short-term rentals, we’re actually doing the opposite I think of what the sponsors, what the mayor intends,” says Councilor Dan Lewis.  Councilors agree Albuquerque needs more affordable housing, but how to do it has been a controversial issue that’s left people divided. 

Councilor Isaac Benton, Tammy Fiebelkorn, and Renee Grout are sponsoring an ordinance that would restrict short-term rentals, like Airbnb’s. The legislation defines a short-term rental as a property that’s rented for twenty-nine days or fewer. It would limit the number of permits for those rentals to 1,200 citywide. 

The city says the limitations would mitigate what they call the “excessive” use of short-term rentals and increase the number of affordable houses available for people to live in, but Councilor Dan Lewis says this legislation would do more harm than good. “We’re going to hurt private property owners from their ability to make decisions on their own property. I think it’s going to have the opposite effect. I think it’s going to keep people from investing here,” says Councilor Lewis. 

Short-term rental owners spoke at today’s council meeting and say affordable housing solutions should not come at the expense of local investors. “Let’s not do anything to hurt the small business owners in our city. If anything let’s look at the corporations that are out of state that take that money and move it right out of state, the profits. All my profits stay here,” says one short-term rental owner. 

Others talked about the city’s need for these types of rentals. “It’s not tourism, that’s just a small portion of it. We have actors, Facebook, Intel, contractors, people who are here for healthcare,” says a second short-term rental owner. 

Right now, the city says around 600 short-term rental properties have permits in Albuquerque, but they estimate there are closer to 1200 in operation and that is how they arrived at the 1200 unit limit.