Commercial property managers dealing with problems caused by homelessness

Kai Porter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Property managers at Commercial Real Estate Management in Albuquerque say the homeless problem in the city is hurting their businesses.

They have pictures showing human feces, urine and used drug needles recently found on one of their 36 properties around town.

"A lot of times they will come to work to open up their store, and a homeless person is laying there in front of their store," said Amy Flores, the firm’s president.

Flores said homeless people and vagrants are leaving behind a big mess they’re forced to clean up for their tenants.

"They’ve also over the last couple two or three years been really demanding more and more security, which is pretty costly to the property owner, which is then passed through to the tenants," she said.

Virginia Gonzales, the firm’s assistant property manager, said the problem is getting worse.

"It’s increasing and it’s every day. And sometimes it’s not even necessarily just the existence of a homeless person," she said. "Sometimes it’s them going into a business and then, of course, safety concerns for the people that are inside. So it’s a much bigger problem than just cleaning up or security. It’s impacting the entire city."

Jodie Stone, the firm’s chief financial officer, said they’ve been working with the city and different programs to get the homeless help. But there’s no easy solution.

"It used to be that it was in just one sector of the city," she said. "Now it’s from the Northeast Heights down into the valley and even Rio Rancho."

The city says you can call 311 to report similar problems.

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