The Albuquerque City Council voted on a 7-2 vote to not pass the memorial urging the New Mexico State Legislature to repeal rent control prohibition.
The council heard perspectives from many people for more than two hours, including realtors, property managers and property investors who were against the memorial, as well as rental tenants and organizers from the People’s Housing Project who were pushing for the council’s support the last few months.
Councilor Dan Lewis repeatedly apologized to people against the memorial stating because they were being harassed by the council audience while speaking. He was also the councilor to ask the issue to be bumped up as the first issue on the agenda.
Lewis also said that “the intentions are good, just misguided,” pertaining to committing to this policy and that it has and will affect investment in the city just as rent control has done in other cities in the U.S.
Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn, who proposed the memorial, said of course the need for more housing is a given, but that won’t come to fruition foranother couple of years. What she is trying to do is help the people who are being priced out of their units now, who just want their rent to be stabilized.
“I don’t think anyone here wants to see more people end up homeless in our community. I personally would like to this memorial pass city council tonight; I would like to see the moratorium at the state level lifted and see an actual conversation in this body about what can be done about rent stabilization for our most disenfranchised,” Fiebelkorn said.
She said in her closing statement how impressive it was for the People’s Housing Project to come out in force to continue speaking to the council and that they have won when it comes to being heard by the council, noting that many presentations and proposals had been seen from many branches of affordable housing aid and development the last few meetings, starting a conversation about how the city can do better whether the council voted for or against the memorial.
“It is important and should have been discussed, and I am proud to have facilitated that discussion,” she said. She also quoted a concerned citizen Talia Freedman, who said, “Prioritizing the concerns of investors while allowing people to literally become homeless; it is unconscionable to think the former is more important the latter and voting against this memorial would tell your constituents that is who you favor.”
Lewis asked the administration their views on the memorial and the city was for it.
Lewis said, “Good thing the mayor can’t veto this.”
Only Fiebelkorn and Council President Isaac Benton voted for the memorial.