photo Todd Clarke


New Joint Housing Board to Hold First Meeting

The Middle Rio Grande Housing Collaborative, a new board jointly formed by the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, is set to hold its first meeting this week.

Approved around a year ago, the board aims to address the chronic housing shortage affecting Bernalillo County. Its five members will identify vacant land and current buildings to turn into affordable housing, as well as build relationships with developers to spur private development.

Modeled after other organizations like the Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority in Doña Ana County, it will serve, for now, as an advisory body to the Albuquerque City Council and Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners.

County Commission Chair Barbara Baca told Albuquerque Business First the MRGHC will be a place for the County and City to pool their resources into the common goal of increasing the local housing supply.

“Then, we can leverage federal and state funding for increasing our housing stock,” Baca said. “The idea being that we have a group of folks that can roll up their sleeves and take a good, hard look.”

The inaugural meeting, according to an agenda, will focus on the introduction of a 12-person working group and a presentation from Bernalillo County’s legal team, giving an overview of the joint powers agreement forming the MRGHC and next steps for implementation.

In addition, the four current MRGHC commissioners — Taila Freedman, Dan Majewski, Serge Martinez and Lawrence Rael — will elect the fifth and final member of the board.

Baca said the MRGHC is just one of many initiatives at all levels of government to address the state’s housing crisis.

The most high-profile is arguably House Bill 195, an expansion of the Opportunity Enterprise Act, which creates a revolving fund for housing projects. The bill was passed in the 2024 legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

At the local level, there’s the City’s Housing Forward ABQ initiative, which aims, among other things, to convert unused or dilapidated hotels and motels around Albuquerque into affordable housing units. Its first project in Northeast Albuquerque, Los Altos Lofts, recently opened for applicants.

“I think the sky’s the limit,” Baca said, referring to the MRGHC. “It’s not intended to be another bureaucratic function or anything. It’s about being a nimble organization that can move and quickly try to get more housing out.”

For more information, visit the collaborative’s webpage.

Source: “New Joint Housing Board to Hold First Meeting