ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some people in Albuquerque say the city could be doing more to help the homeless, but city records show that when the city asked for public comment, no one gave their input about how to spend money this year on homeless services and other needs.
One downtown social worker said she did see fliers at community centers and believes more people should speak up about how to help. “As a social worker, I believe in a housing first model so I don’t believe that the city spends the funds in an appropriate way,” Spring Ron of Albuquerque stated.
The 2021 draft Action Plan details how the city hopes to use funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the upcoming fiscal year. There’s about $7 million available to go toward public facilities, affordable housing for low and moderate-income people, and homeless services.
The resolution presented to city council states that there was no community input during two 30-day comment periods ending in mid-April. This, despite the city posting notices on social media, the city website, and in public places.
The Deputy Director of Housing and Homelessness, Lisa Huval, says that while it wasn’t mentioned in the action plan, there was a virtual public hearing in which community members did listen to the presentation and ask questions.
Huval believes there are even more opportunities throughout the year for people to give input into the work the city is doing involving homelessness.
“As you probably know there’s been multiple community input opportunities as we plan for the Gateway Center with the acquisition of Gibson Medical Center,” Huval said.
People can also participate in public comment during the Homeless Coordinating Council meetings, which happen every other week. City council still needs to sign off on the 2021 Action Plan before the city submits it to the federal government. For more information on joining the meetings, visit cabq.gov/family/partner-resources/meeting-minutes-agendas/homeless-coordinating-council.