Alibi V.27 No.34 • Aug 23-29, 2018 

Newscity

Tiny Homes Village Discussed Publicly

The News Monkey

Bernalillo County's plan to develop a village of tiny homes for the city's homeless met with mixed opinion as county leaders showed their project to the public.

Three public meetings held by county officials last week outlined a proposal to build a 30-home community of tiny homes at 1 of 6 possible sites in Albuquerque. Project planners say providing permanent supportive housing for the homeless will reduce public costs in areas like emergency healthcare and inpatient hospitalizations. Each home in the gated village will be 116-square feet and outfitted with furniture, electricity, heating and cooling. The houses will cost around $20,000 each and residents would rent them for $50 a month, according to KUNM. Funding for the project was approved by voters in 2016.

The first meeting, held earlier in the month in the southeast side of the city, brought out hundreds of residents opposed to the project. Many were concerned with the proposed locations of the village—most of which are along Central Ave. in places where where homelessness and crime are issues—while some were unhappy that the planned space would only be open to couples and individuals, excluding children and families.

Last week, residents at a second meeting told leaders they were worried about the cost of the project. Supporters of the plan were also in attendance. A third meeting on the Westside brought some support with reservations about proposed locations and effects on local businesses.

The county is still taking public comments concerning the site's location through Sept. 17 on the project website. Construction on the village could begin as soon as March 2019.

Public Schools Graded

The New Mexico Public Education Department's annual report card was released last week, showing that while a number of the state's schools improved during the 2017-2018 academic year, including two schools in threat of closure, while over a third received D or F grades.

Education Week reports that 12.9 percent of public schools earned an A from NMPED last year, down from 14.5 last year. And the number of schools receiving B grades increased 2 percentage points over last year, with 25.9 percent.

Two schools, Hawthorne Elementary and Los Padillas, which were designated in need of “more rigorous intervention” (MRI) received a C grade last year, a marked improvement. Both schools were under threat of closure after failing six years in a row.

However Whittier Elementary and Dulce Elementary, who were also designated MRI by the state, both received failing grades again this year, and are now facing the possibility of permanently closing their doors.

In all, 22.4 percent of schools received a D and 14.6 percent received an F. Officials have voiced concerns about Santa Fe Public Schools in particular, where the majority of schools—56 percent—received D or F grades.

School grades are based on student proficiency and are partly based on the results of exams like PARCC.