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We need to build more homes

Dear Friend,
While the ultra-rich own multiple multi-million-dollar homes, New Mexico families are facing a severe housing shortage. And that shortage is driving up costs on the housing we do have.
The housing shortage is impacting people at all income levels, in nearly every community. Whether renting or owning, whether in a rural, suburban, or urban area, too many New Mexicans cannot securely afford a place to call home.
That’s why, as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, I convened a hearing earlier this month to explore potential policy solutions to increase access to affordable and stable housing in New Mexico and across the country.
I hope you can take a moment to watch the KOAT story below about our hearing.
KOAT Housing
VIDEO: Senator Martin Heinrich hosts a hearing on the housing shortage, KOAT, January 16, 2024.
Ahead of our hearing, the Joint Economic Committee Democrats released a report titled, “Rebuilding the American Dream: Policy Approaches to Increasing the Supply of Affordable Housing.”
Our report examined the restrictive local zoning and land use regulations that are making it too difficult to increase housing supply. It also explores the novel government financing mechanisms—like local affordable housing trust funds—that can help builders construct more affordable homes.
I’m proud that a number of local governments in New Mexico are leading efforts to finance more affordable housing stock. This past November, voters in Santa Fe approved a tax on home purchases that are over $1 million, to increase revenue for the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
In Las Cruces, voters just approved the issuance of a $6 million general obligation bond to fund its Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This initial investment could help leverage more than $36 million in funding from state, federal, and private sources to create additional affordable housing units.
Last year, the City of Albuquerque passed zoning reforms that will allow certain properties zoned for single-family home construction to build “alternative dwelling units,” long known in New Mexico as casitas. The new zoning rules will also allow the City to convert some formerly non-residential developments—like former hotels—into affordable, multi-unit housing communities.
These initiatives are important steps, but we need to do more at every level of government to address this shortage head on. I am committed to delivering the resources New Mexico communities need to build more homes.
United States Senator