In response to the continuing challenge of finding housing for homeless veterans, members of the Bernalillo County Commission are considering a plan that would see the construction of a residential complex for them.
If approved, the new $8 million facility would feature 60 apartment units as well as on-site support services.
Additional costs would include an annual $1 million budget to operate the complex.
Money for the project will come out of funds from an earlier approved county gross receipts tax designed to pay for behavioral health initiatives.
Bernalillo’s move to build a veterans housing complex comes just as the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has released a survey showing that homelessness in New Mexico increased by 2.8 percent during the last year.
The HUD statistics says there are more than 2,500 people in New Mexico classified as homeless, with 290 of that number made up of veterans.
The survey, called the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, additionally shows 31 states reporting homelessness decreases in the last year, and 19 states seeing increases.
Overall, the national homeless population has dropped from 647,000 a decade ago to 552,000 this year.
Despite that positive trend, the report also says that New Mexico had one of the highest rates of homelessness among veterans at 15 percent, behind only Montana with 17 percent.
By Garry Boulard
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