By Aldo Jurado / NM News Port
The cost of renting a house or apartment went up across the country last year, but it hit particularly hard in low-income communities such as Albuquerque’s South Broadway and Barelas neighborhoods.
The average cost of renting an apartment or house in Albuquerque went up 27% last year, according to an analysis by Dwellsy, an online rental housing marketplace. Rental inflation increased an average of 11% nationwide in 2021, more than three times the normal rate.
“There was a huge shift since the start of the pandemic in the market,” said real estate agent, Minnie Rivas.
Understanding what was happening between the start of the pandemic and now makes homeowners especially landlords wanting to raise rent since there was a shift in the economy.
The market is rising and landlords know that their home is worth more so they are increasing rent so to be ahead of the game with their tenants.
This is a problem for historic, low incomes neighborhoods like South Broadway and Barelas. With an increase in rent most people are finding it difficult to maintain their payments on time. Many of the families that live within the south broadway and barelas communities are usually on a fixed income and some are students that are working through the pandemic.
“We want Albuquerque to not be the next gentrified city,” said Anna Lee DeSaulniers of the People Housing Project.
DeSaulniers said she’s worried that an influx of wealthier outsiders would change communities’ unique character.
“One of the ways that we believe our communities will be able to flourish is if we’re allowed to democratically enact rent control,” Desaulniers said. “If we don’t do that, they will continue to raise the cost of living to the point where the people go, and we’re gonna take our culture with us.”
Aldo Jurado is a reported for New Mexico News Port and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.