When I look at the Tiny Home Village project and think of all the positive outcomes that it might produce, I can easily imagine it helping many people in need. In my mind, there is little reason it should not happen. Then, I am suddenly reminded of the enormous elephants in the room – the city and the county. Neither the city nor the county has substantial proof they can build, run or administer anything like a Tiny Home Village with any measure of immediate success.
Albuquerque residents might or might not be familiar with the Supportive After Care (SAC program) apartments located on county property at 5901 Zuni SE. This is the same location of the county-run Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Services detox program known as MATS. On this property sits a million-dollar-plus apartment complex built approximately a decade ago to create transitional housing for people dealing with addiction and homelessness.
If I’m not mistaken, it has 12 apartments and can house approximately 40-60 people. I’m fairly certain it has never been at capacity. Over the years, they have tried various types of programming and even housed other programs, such as the women of the Milagros program – called Mariposa under the county. Only recently has it started to operate near capacity. This is not a slight on the county, but it does show how difficult it can be to get something of this magnitude up and running properly.
The 5901 Zuni SE location would be ideal for a Tiny Home Village pilot project due to the already existing infrastructure, security, walled perimeter, access to services, public transportation, etc. I feel this is an absolute necessity before scaling up to what the city/county is proposing.