photo Todd Clarke


How the HUD’s New Income Limits Will Impact New Mexico Families

Housing in Albuquerque is still sparse to say the least and the high prices aren’t helping.

At least one national site has the average rent in the metro up $150 from last year. But there is some help for New Mexicans really struggling to make ends meet.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, announced more people in our state will now qualify for housing assistance.

KOB 4 spoke with city officials to find out what this means for people who will and won’t qualify for that help.

The City of Albuquerque has been trying to increase the affordable housing stock in the city.

“One project that is just finished is PAH! on Central near San Mateo,” said Joseph Montoya, deputy director of the Health Housing and Homelessness Department.

But it still isn’t enough. Montoya, says the city still needs at least 30,000 new units to come onto the market to keep up with the demand, specifically affordable units.

“There are so many people that are paying way too much of their income for housing. So 70% of the population is paying over 30% of their income for housing and that is ridiculous,” said Montoya.

But there is some hope. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has published the new housing assistant guidelines.

Now, a single person making less than $48,400 a year will qualify for affordable housing. That’s more than a $4,000 increase.

For an Albuquerque family of four, the income requirement is nearly $70,000 a year or less. That’s a $6,000 jump from last year.

“The idea is that HUD generally brings these numbers up, generally relative to wages but also to market conditions. So there was an extra bump this year, highly needed in this environment because rental rates have gone so far up in the last few years,” Montoya said. “It means we can qualify more people who were not able to qualify previously.”

But the help is only available if there are units available, and Montoya says this change by BUD won’t mean instant relief.

“I do want to warn people there is not enough housing, so there are waiting lists for all the affordable housing units,” said Montoya.

That’s the harsh reality –

Whether you qualify for HUD help or not, there just aren’t enough units available.

As far as that waiting list for affordable housing help, Montoya says the best place to look for availability is on the Health, Housing and Homelessness Department’s website.

This isn’t just news for renters. Montoya says this change by HUD will also increase the amount of people who qualify for firs-time home buyers assistance.

Source: “How the HUD’s New Income Limits Will Impact New Mexico Families