ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Just days after the first city-sanctioned homeless camp was tentatively approved, city councilors have approved a moratorium on any more of those camps. Councilor Brook Bassan proposed the moratorium, and now applications for any future camps will be paused for the next year.
The vote was six for the moratorium and three against. There was intense discussion inside council chambers Monday evening as emotions ran high on both sides of the issue.
“Those who voted yes on safe spaces and will be voting no on the moratorium, let’s build one next door to your house first, and then we can talk about building one next door to my house,” an Albuquerque resident said during public comment.
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Bassan was initially in favor of the safe outdoor spaces but reversed course after people in her district and across the city expressed their opposition to the camps. She also says it’s not going to change the way the city enforces loitering trespassing or overnight camping laws.
But not everyone is against the sanctioned homeless camps. Some say this could be the solution we need in the city. “If we kick them out of Coronado park and have no sanction encampments, where are they going to go legally, right?” A public speaker said.
The first camp to be tentatively approved is near Menaul and I-25. It would hold up to 50 people. Tents, sleeping bags, showers, and bathrooms would be provided.
The moratorium will now be sent to the Mayor. He will have up to 10 days to decide whether he wants to keep or veto the resolution.