Legislative report: Homelessness on the rise in New Mexico
Preliminary estimates for 2023 show a “significant uptick” of about 48 percent in homelessness in New Mexico, suggesting an increased need for affordable housing around the state, according to a report. The interim Legislative Finance Committee met on Tuesday and heard housing experts Kathleen Gygi, program evaluator for the Legislative Finance Committee, Amy Whitfield, housing and homeless advisor for the Office of the Governor and Isidoro “Izzy” Hernandez, executive director and chief executive officer of New Mexico Mortgage Finance Committee, on a presentation about homelessness and affordable housing issues. The presenters provided a report for the committee that showed an overview of affordable housing and homelessness in the state. One problem Gygi highlighted is that incomes have not kept up with the cost of rent. Since 2017, rents and home values have grown by 70 percent while income in the state has grown by just 15 percent, Gygi said. Another problem is a lack of bed space for homeless individuals.