After more than three years of planning, Bernalillo County and community partners gathered on Tuesday, March 10, to break ground at the Albuquerque Indian Center. That’s the site of the new Tiny Home Village, a community of 30 120 sq. ft. homes for those experiencing homelessness. After other neighborhoods considered for the project pushed back, lawmakers and community members say the International District is welcoming its new neighbors.
When the Tiny Home Village was looking for a site last year, some of the neighborhoods being considered didn’t want it. So, when Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley heard the Albuquerque Indian Center was interested in hosting the village on its property, she says she jumped at the opportunity. “I said 'thank God!' I could not get here fast enough,” she said at Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony at the center.
Lawmakers who represent the district on the city and state level, who are collaborating with the county on the project, such as State Senator Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque) and City Councilor Pat Davis, say their constituents were overwhelmingly supportive. Ilse Biel, Resource and Volunteer Coordinator for the village, said the project “lucked out” landing in the neighborhood that it did. “The neighbors were so welcoming and they decided to say, ‘yeah, of course in my backyard’,” Biel said of those who live nearby the Albuquerque Indian Center.
Since the village is the first of its kind here, the County says it’s unclear what impact if any it may have on property values.
Now that the ground has been broken, the 30 tiny homes, each outfitted with a bed, desk, and storage, and the larger common building with bathrooms and a kitchen, are expected to be completed later this year.
According to the County, prospective residents will be vetted and able to live in the village for up to two years.
The Tiny Home Village is funded by a 2016 $2 million voter-approved general obligation bond and an additional $750,000 approved by voters in 2018 for the common building. According the County’s website, construction costs are estimated at $3.3 million.