Albuquerque REALTORS® Advocate for Homeowners on Water Policies
Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a desert community with limited water resources. Sound water planning and regulation are vital to the city’s continued economic growth. Water policy has a particularly acute impact on the housing market, as water-related regulations and development decisions dictate the availability, affordability and desirability of housing.
The Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® is involved with water issues to help keep housing affordable in Albuquerque.
The REALTORS® association has joined the Business Water Task Force, a coalition of real estate professional associations dedicated to ensuring access to clean and dependable water sources, and to the city’s continued growth and development — two goals that are not mutually exclusive.
The task force is closely monitoring a number of issues, including the city’s implementation of federal stormwater permit requirements and the Interstate Stream Commission’s study to update the area’s regional water plans. There is a risk that both of these efforts could be used as a way to stifle growth and development, which would make housing less available and, therefore, more expensive. Implementation of the murky stormwater permit requirements has also led to proposals to shift much of the burden to homeowners and developers by requiring the installation of costly stormwater monitoring systems on all properties.
With these concerns in mind, REALTORS® and the task force have gotten involved in the discussion of both issues. Four task force members currently serve on the regional water planning committee. A licensed attorney and engineer represent the task force’s interests at water-related meetings. REALTORS® and the task force also continue more traditional lobbying efforts that include communicating with local officials and helping to educate them on the impact of their decisions on homeowners and the real estate market. In all of these efforts, REALTORS® are using their voice to ensure that property owners’ interests are considered in the development of the region’s water usage plans.
Water issues will remain a crucial part of Albuquerque’s continued economic success, and will continue to impact area homeowners’ abilities to use and enjoy their properties. As water policy decisions are developed, the Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® will continue working to ensure that water protection plans do not put an unfair burden on homeowners.