Survey gauges housing discrimination in Albuquerque
Every five years Albuquerque has to report to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on how the city is promoting fair housing for protected classes of people based on things like race, religion, sex, or disability. The draft report assessing the city’s fair housing was published this week and it highlights Albuqueruqe’s housing inequities.
Results from a city-wide survey earlier this year included in the report show that 47% of respondents say they have been, or know someone who has been, a victim of housing discrimination. And for Hispanics and Latinos, that jumps to 58%.
Katelyn Michaud from Crescendo Consulting Group who prepared the report for the city said these figures are the highest she has seen in several cities, including Las Cruces.
Michaud pointed to some of the more common responses from the survey to explain the high rate of discrimination.
“What we’re hearing is that there are a lot of challenges based on someone’s race/ethnicity. Maybe it’s related to source of income as well,” she said.
Under Albuquerque’s Human Rights Ordinance, landlords cannot discriminate against someone based on the source of their rent money.
The report also noted that since March, Albuquerque’s Office of Civil Rights had 73 inquiries about race-based discrimination, but 192 calls on discrimination based on disability. People with disabilities have been at the top of Albuquerque’s list for discrimination complaints to HUD since at least 2016.
The newest data from 2019 – before housing prices skyrocketed during the pandemic – shows almost 50,000 people in Albuquerque are cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their income for housing, or, severely cost-burdened paying more than 50%. Further, the number of renters on that list is 2.5 times higher than home owners.
Mayor Tim Keller’s Housing Forward Initiative is guiding multiple city departments to expand access and increase the supply of homes, but much of that work depends on federal funding. The fair housing assessment is part of a package of reports required by HUD for Community Development Block Grants and HOME grants that fund housing for low income households.
Written comments on the draft of the Fair Housing Assessment can be submitted to Monica Montoya from the city’s Department of Family and Community Services via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 30-day comment period ends January 8th.
This report is part of our Your New Mexico Government project, a collaboration between KUNM radio and New Mexico PBS. Support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.