A joint project between the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County could see the construction of a complex designed specifically to provide a secure place to live for those who are frequently homeless.
Albuquerque’s Department of Family and Community Services has issued a Request for Proposal for the development and construction of a 40-unit complex that could cost almost $4 million to build.
The project, which would feature 40 efficiency or one-bedroom units, will target, according to the RFP, “the most vulnerable individuals with behavioral health needs.”
Those units will have an occupancy standard of one person per unit.
Tenants living in the complex would be those who are subject to either severe housing instability; frequent admission to the county Metropolitan Detention Center’s psychiatric services unit; or those frequently using detoxification services or emergency medical services for behavioral health needs.
Up to $2 million in funding to build the complex will come from sales tax revenue specifically geared for behavioral health programs in Bernalillo County, along with $1.9 million from Albuquerque’s existing city funds.
Officials say if the complex proves successful, Albuquerque and Bernalillo County may collaborate in the future on other projects of the same nature.
According to a report issued by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2016, Albuquerque’s homeless rate is 21.9 per 10,000 people, a number higher than the national average of 16.9.
Other sources have said that there are as many as 1,300 people in Albuquerque identified as homeless.
By Garry Boulard