Tiny Home Village seeks funds to fill vacancies

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Bernalillo County has spent nearly $5 million to build the Tiny Home Village in hopes of solving the city’s homelessness problem. But after being open for more than a year, the majority of the accommodations are still empty. The county is asking for an additional half a million dollars to help fill vacancies.

“We’re just trying to get some more operating funds for the village. It was a pilot program from the start. Once we got started, we realized the program design needed some tweaking,” said Carolyn Chavez, director of Tiny Home Village.

Chavez says the $500,000 annual funding will help provide round-the-clock care for villagers, including case managers under contract with UNM, helping villagers transition to more housing. sustainable.

“It’s really about providing villagers with the daily help they need from sleeping outside to trying to transition to sustainability and safety,” Chavez said.

Why was staffing a problem, and why didn’t the county see the need when the village opened in February of last year? “Last summer, we realized that the program design we started with wasn’t working well, so we went back to the drawing board for a bit and started working on the program design. It was a pilot, it was a first of its kind in Albuquerque,” ​​Chavez said.

After spending $4.92 million to build the Tiny Home Village, many may be wondering if the extra half a million dollars a year will help fill the 30 homes after 26 currently empty. “That’s a lot of hard-earned taxpayers’ money. I’m sure I and my fellow commissioners want to make sure that any additional money invested in the original small village goes directly to helping as many people as possible, said Bernalillo County District 5 Commissioner Charlene Pyskoty.

The village manager says there are 65 applicants awaiting housing approval. She says move-ins could be expected as early as the next two months, depending on whether staff are hired. A hearing on the proposal is scheduled during the committee meeting this Thursday evening at 5 p.m.

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