RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Rio Rancho is launching a new affordable housing study. Mayor Gregg Hull says the study is in the beginning phase, with a goal of providing a roadmap to improve the availability, quality and affordability of housing throughout the city. 

“The first steps are to identify what the actual need is. We want to make sure that the young people that are starting off in the community have an opportunity to make rio rancho their home and that the senior citizens that are living in our community are close to their family and don’t have to move off somewhere else to find housing that they can afford,” said rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull. Hull says a comprehensive study on the issue will be able to provide valuable information to the city’s planning and zoning board when it comes to making decisions on land use. 

Some Rio Rancho residents, who’ve been discouraged by rising home prices, say they’re glad something is being done to help more people become homeowners. “I’m almost paying $1,000 a month, that’s about the payment of a house,” said Grayce Sherman. “I think it’s a great idea for families that are in need of it so that they are not put in a situation where they are homeless or looking elsewhere for homes.”

According to a real estate broker in Rio Rancho, home prices in rio rancho are pretty comparable to prices on Albuquerque’s west side, but nonetheless have increased tremendously. “When you look at what the housing market was in may of 2019 versus what it is now you’ve got in may of 2019 the average price for a house was $175,000 now it’s up to $330.000,” said ERA Sellers and Buyers Associate Broker, Jenn Atchley. Atchley says the lack of inventory also plays a big part as well to soaring home prices. In three years, the number of houses available in Rio Rancho went from 278… to today’s 89.

Rio Rancho allocated $75,000 for the study to be completed. “I believe a comprehensive study will verify our needs and provide valuable information,” Mayor Gregg Hull said in a release. Hull says he expects the study to take six months to complete. The city is seeking public input on the study. Officials say the next step includes hosting public meetings and getting public input. Anyone who lives or works in Rio Rancho is invited to offer their input and complete an online survey at  www.rrnm.gov/ah. The survey will be open from June 23 to July 25.