State & National Advocacy Priorities
Joel Jolly (right) who came to the 2011 lobby day from Roswell
is meeting with Senator Stuart Ingle (left) and Hank Hughes.
Homelessness is a direct result of unjust policies that deny people who are economically disadvantaged, disabled, or are struggling in other ways, the support structure that would allow them to provide for their basic needs. Everyone deserves to have a secure place in our society. The New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness (NMCEH) believes that it is the role of the government to correct unfair policies so that everyone has the opportunity to have a safe and decent place to live. We advocate for policy changes that promote solutions to homelessness from prevention through permanent housing.
RECENT SUCCESSES IN NEW MEXICO
Increase state funding for Rapid ReHousing Programs and Supportive Housing Services: In 2014, we secured an additional $290,000 in state funding for services that are part of transitional and permanent supportive housing programs. In the 2013 Legislative Session we successfully advocated for an additional $200,000 in annual state funding for Rapid Re-Housing programs throughout New Mexico.
Passage of House Joint Memorial (HJM) 22: HJM, which was co-sponsored by Representative Bill O'Neill and Senator John Ryan, urged the Governor to establish an Interagency Council on Child Homelessness. This was the major legislative priority for the New Mexico Campaign to End Child Homelessness.
Protect Funding for General Assistance: In the 2010 and 2011 sessions we advocated for sufficient funding for the General Assistance (GA) program, which is a state-funded program that provides a small monthly benefit to people who cannot work because of a disability and who have no other source of income. Working closely with the NM Center on Law and Poverty, we were able to protect funding for this program. We also successfully advocates for the Human Services Department (HSD) to be given carry-over authority for the GA program. This means that HSD can carry-over some funds from one fiscal year to the next. This is important because it provides the GA program with more stability.
Senator Jerry Ortiz Y Pino meets with one of the
2011 lobby day teams at the State Capitol
Creation of a Housing First Taskforce: In the 2008 session the Senate passed a memorial creating a Housing First Taskforce. The Taskforce was charged with developing a plan to link homeless individuals and families to housing as quickly as possible.
Successfully opposed legislation prohibiting local real estate transfer tax: By collaborating closely with our allies, the NMCEH successfully helped oppose a bill during the 2008 session that would have prohibited municipalities from enacting a real estate transfer tax. The NMCEH opposed the bill because a transfer tax is a proven tool for generating revenue for affordable housing.
New funding for supportive housing: In the 2007 session the legislature allocated $750,000 in new funding for a pilot supportive housing program for people with serious mental illness. We believe that our postcard and letter campaign, which emphasized the need for housing and services for people experiencing homelessness, helped build support for this exciting initiative.
Enactment of the Day Laborer Act: The Coalition took the lead in 2005 in advocating for legislation to protect people who work as day laborers from unfair practices that result in them not being paid or not being paid at least minimum wage for work they perform.
Creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund: Working with a broad coalition of other advocates, the NMCEH helped create a New Mexico Housing Trust Fund in 2005. The Trust Fund received an initial investment of $10 million, to be used to meet the housing needs of low-income New Mexicans.Increase in State Funding for Homeless Programs: As a result of our advocacy, annual state funding was increased in 2005 by over $600,000.
CURRENT NEW MEXICO and NATIONAL ADVOCACY PRIORITIES
Click here for our 2014-2015 advocacy agenda.
To learn more about any of these legislative priorities or to learn more about how you can support and advocate for solutions to homelessness, please contact:
Policy & Advocacy Director