photo Todd Clarke


Mayor Keller Signs Resolution to Accelerate Housing Construction in Albuquerque

A new bill designed to boost housing construction and streamline the construction process for developers within the Albuquerque metro has been approved.

Resolution 24-22, which prioritizes site plan approvals and permit requests for projects aimed at creating permanent housing, was signed into law by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller on April 26, Tim Walsh, City of Albuquerque public information officer, said in an email statement.

As a result, developers now have access to FasTrax, a construction permitting program that helps expedite review completion dates, according to a news release.  Under the resolution, the program is open to applicants constructing any of the 13 specified project types mentioned, including various assisted living facilities and group homes.

“R-24-22 establishes a two-year policy for prioritizing site plan approvals and construction permitting of development projects that will result in permanent housing within metropolitan redevelopment areas, urban [and] employment centers, and [various transit corridors],” Walsh said in the email statement. “During the two-year timeframe, the plan review team will be cross-checking the project addresses to see if they fall within the specified areas.”

While city approvals are a crucial first step to future development, it is not the only challenge developers face when building new housing. Additional challenges include acquiring land at an affordable price, navigating high construction costs and unexpected delays, Rathi Casey, chief creative officer at Homewise said.

Currently, there are an estimated 22,000 people in Albuquerque who are unhoused, according to the City.

“Anything the city can do to expedite approval processes will help us build more affordable homes.” Casey said.

Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase awarded Homewise $1 million to start a credit-building loan program aimed at helping potential homeowners improve their credit scores and save for down payments. The investment is part of Chase and the Urban Institute’s Housing Innovation Program, which focuses on expanding homeownership opportunities for underserved communities.

In 2024, Homewise wants to assist at least 500 families in New Mexico, Elena Gonzales, chief operating officer at Homewise said. Since 1986, the firm has helped over 6,000 families in New Mexico achieve their homeownership goals, according to its website.

“We’re going to do everything we can to help increase housing supply,” City of Albuquerque Planning Department Director Alan Varela said in an email statement. “This resolution will help speed up new housing development centers by getting those permit applications through site plan review and construction permitting as quickly as possible”.

Source: “Mayor Keller Signs Resolution to Accelerate Housing Construction in Albuquerque