ACTION ALERT: Every Albuquerque resident needs access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of how they pay rent.

We need your help Monday, April 11 to urge the Albuquerque City Council to prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters who pay rent with housing assistance.

If passed, Ordinance 0-22-16, sponsored by Councilors Pat Davis and Brook Bassan, would make affordable housing accessible to thousands of New Mexico’s low-income families. It would update Albuquerque’s existing Human Rights Ordinance to prohibit landlords from refusing to rent to an applicant who will pay rent with a housing voucher, social security income, or any other lawful source of income. It would also stop landlords from imposing extra requirements — like higher security deposits — on those relying on rent subsidies. 

Make your voice heard! Give public comment in support at the hearing and/or contact city councilors and ask them to support the ordinance. Let them know that Albuquerque’s low-income renters need increased access to affordable housing!

WHAT: City of Albuquerque Finance & Government Operations Committee hearing on affordable housing

WHEN: Monday, April 11, 2022 at 5:00 P.M.

JOIN BY ZOOM OR IN PERSON: Council Committee Room, 9th Floor, Suite 9081 of the Albuquerque Government Center, One Civic Plaza NW.  

Zoom details will be available here: https://www.cabq.gov/council/events

WHAT YOU MIGHT SAY: Hello, my name is __________, I live in District ____. I am calling to urge Councilor ________ to support Ordinance 0-22-16. Every Albuquerque resident should have access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of how they pay their rent. Our city is already experiencing a huge increase in homelessness.  This ordinance would help ensure that low-income families can find affordable housing and remain housed. 

Find your city councilor here: https://www.cabq.gov/council/find-your-councilor

Bill capping small loan interest rates signed by the governor

SANTA FE—After years of hard work by advocates and community members fighting for fair credit for all New Mexicans, a bill requiring a 36% APR cap on storefront loans passed was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today.

“For years so many advocates and community members have fought for a fair and affordable interest rate cap. New Mexican families who’ve experienced crushing financial hardships because of predatory loans have come forward to tell their stories and the stories of their communities over and over, year after year. Today all that hard work has paid off.” said Lindsay Cutler, an attorney with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. “We are incredibly grateful to the leadership of the sponsors of HB 132, and to the governor for signing this important legislation for New Mexico families.” 

The law goes into effect January 1, 2023.

65% of lenders in New Mexico are located within 15 miles of Tribal lands. In McKinley County alone, there are more than 40 storefront lenders that made 69,618 loans in 2020 – nearly one loan for every resident. The Navajo Nation President and Council have expressed their strong support for a 36% cap.

New Mexico currently has one of the highest interest rate caps on installment loans in the country. Lenders across the state are taking advantage of triple-digit interest rates and draining hundreds of millions of dollars from hardworking New Mexicans each year. A family who borrows a storefront loan for just a few hundred dollars at the current rate cap of 175% APR will end up paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

Action Alert: Key legislation awaits the governor’s signature. You can help!

Your dedication and countless phone calls, emails, and comments in hearings worked! Huge efforts to stop predatory lending by capping interest rates on small loans, parity for Native language teachers, access to state services in languages other than English, and easy enrollment in healthcare could be a reality for New Mexico’s families. 

We need your help to get these bills signed and over the finish line! Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has until March 9 to sign legislation.

Please contact the governor this week by calling her office at (505) 476-2200 and leave a message with her office to “Please sign HB 22, HB 60, HB 95, and HB 132.” You can also email her using this form: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/contact-the-governor/.

Bills awaiting signature: 

HB 22: Limited English Access to State Programs requires state agencies to develop plans to provide help in languages other than English, ensuring that more New Mexicans can access state services. 

HB 60: Native American Language Certificate Salaries ensures that Native language teachers are treated fairly, on par with other teachers, promoting language preservation and student educational success.

HB 95 Easy Enrollment Act allows uninsured residents  to use their state income tax returns as an easy way to get information on available health coverage plans and to enroll in any plans they are eligible for. 

HB 132: Interest Rates for Certain Loans requires an all-inclusive 36% APR cap on storefront loans and ensures that New Mexico’s laws prevent abusive and predatory financial practices. 

Thank you for your tireless efforts! Let’s get the bills passed made into law.

Bill capping small loan interest rates passes the Legislature

Bill awaits the governor’s signature

SANTA FE—After years of hard work by advocates and community members fighting for fair credit for all New Mexicans, a bill requiring an all-inclusive 36% APR cap on storefront loans passed the Legislature today.

House Bill 132 passed the House by a vote of 51 to 18. It passed the Senate by a vote of 19 to eight.

“For decades New Mexico has allowed huge out-of-state companies to charge hundreds of millions of dollars in interest, specifically targeting our native communities, but thanks to the hard work of so many partners, of the sponsors, and of the Legislature, we may finally pass real consumer protections for our people,” said Austin Weahkee from NM Native Vote. 

Governor Lujan Grisham has issued an executive message and it is expected that she will sign the bill. If the bill is signed into law, it will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

“A fair interest rate cap for all New Mexicans has been a long time coming,” said Lindsay Cutler, an attorney with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. “We are incredibly grateful to the leadership of the sponsors of HB 132, Representatives Herrera, Garratt, Anderson, Ely and Speaker Egolf, as well as Senators Duhigg and Soules for their hard work to get the bill through the legislative process. For years so many advocates and community members have fought for this day. New Mexican families who’ve experienced crushing financial hardships because of predatory loans have come forward to tell their stories and the stories of their communities over and over, year after year. Today all that hard work has paid off.” 

65% of lenders in New Mexico are located within 15 miles of Tribal lands. In McKinley County alone, there are more than 40 storefront lenders that made 69,618 loans in 2020 – nearly one loan for every resident. The Navajo Nation President and Council have expressed their strong support for a 36% cap.

New Mexico currently has one of the highest interest rate caps on installment loans in the country. Lenders across the state are taking advantage of triple-digit interest rates and draining hundreds of millions of dollars from hardworking New Mexicans each year. A family who borrows a storefront loan for just a few hundred dollars at the current rate cap of 175% APR will end up paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest and fees.  

“No one should be allowed to charge triple-digit interest rates,” said Ona Porter, Founder Emerita of Prosperity Works. “No one should have to choose between paying their rent and making payments on a triple-digit loan that often keeps them trapped endlessly. New Mexicans deserve access to fair and responsible credit.”

TOMORROW: Support a 36% APR rate cap on storefront loans!

New Mexicans Deserve Fair Credit!

We need your help to get a bill requiring an all-inclusive 36% APR cap on storefront loans passed by the House Judiciary Committee TOMORROW at 1:30 p.m. 

Please attend the hearing and give public comment to ensure that New Mexico’s laws prevent abusive and predatory financial practices.

New Mexico has one of the highest interest rate caps on installment loans in the country. Lenders across the state are taking advantage of triple-digit interest rates and draining hundreds of millions of dollars from hardworking New Mexicans each year. A family who borrows a storefront loan for just a few hundred dollars at the current rate cap of 175% APR will end up paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest and fees.  

You might share a personal story with legislators about why no one should be allowed to charge triple-digit interest rates. You might also share why you support the bill. For example: “I urge the Committee to support House Bill 132 for an all-inclusive 36% cap on storefront loans. No one should have to choose between paying their rent and making payments on a triple-digit loan. New Mexicans deserve access to fair and responsible credit.”

HB 132 Summary
House Bill 132, sponsored by Representatives Herrera, Garratt, Anderson, Ely and Speaker Egolf would require an all-inclusive 36% APR cap on storefront loans and ensure that New Mexico’s laws prevent abusive and predatory financial practices. 

Public Comment Instructions

When: Tomorrow February 2 at 1:30 p.m.

How: Zoom link will become available before the hearing on the House Committee Schedule page https://www.nmlegis.gov/Calendar/Session

What to Expect During the Hearing

The committee will be taking public comment. The chair of the committee will announce the bill and ask who supports HB 132. At that time, to provide a comment use the Zoom reaction button and raise your hand. The chair will call your name and unmute your zoom when it is your turn to speak.

Tips

  • Keep your remarks brief and to the point.
  • If you have a personal story about high interest loans, please share it.
  • Close the Legislature’s webcast page when you give your comment so there is not an echo during your remarks.
  • Make sure you are not muted when it is your turn to speak.
  • Do not rely on your phone or computer for notes. Write them down on a piece of paper or print them out in case your computer or phone freeze.
  • Close other tabs and windows in your browser to make sure your connection is good.
  • If your microphone or internet connection doesn’t work then be prepared to call in on your phone using the number at the same link above.

TOMORROW: Support a 36% APR rate cap on storefront loans!

New Mexicans Deserve Fair Credit!

We need your help to get a bill requiring an all-inclusive 36% APR cap on storefront loans passed by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee TOMORROW at 10:00 a.m. 

Please attend the hearing and give public comment to ensure that New Mexico’s laws prevent abusive and predatory financial practices.

New Mexico has one of the highest interest rate caps on installment loans in the country. Lenders across the state are taking advantage of triple-digit interest rates and draining hundreds of millions of dollars from hardworking New Mexicans each year. A family who borrows a storefront loan for just a few hundred dollars at the current rate cap of 175% APR will end up paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest and fees.  

You might share a personal story with legislators about why no one should be allowed to charge triple-digit interest rates. You might also share why you support the bill. For example: “I urge the Representative to support House Bill 132 for an all-inclusive 36% cap on storefront loans. No one should have to choose between paying their rent and making payments on a triple-digit loan. New Mexicans deserve access to fair and responsible credit.”

HB 132 Summary

House Bill 132, sponsored by Representatives Herrera, Garratt, Anderson, Ely and Speaker Egolf would require an all-inclusive 36% APR cap on storefront loans and ensure that New Mexico’s laws prevent abusive and predatory financial practices. 

Public Comment Instructions

When: Tomorrow January 29 at 10:00 a.m. 
How: Click the link below to join the webinar.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87885692969

Or One tap mobile : US: +13462487799,,87885692969# or +16699009128,,87885692969#

Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1

646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592

Webinar ID: 878 8569 2969

International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/ksTm89qpc

What to Expect During the Hearing

The committee will be taking public comment. The chair of the committee will announce the bill and ask who supports HB 132. At that time, to provide a comment use the Zoom reaction button and raise your hand. The chair will call your name and unmute your zoom when it is your turn to speak.

Tips

  • Keep your remarks brief and to the point.
  • If you have a personal story about high interest loans, please share it.
  • Close the Legislature’s webcast page when you give your comment so there is not an echo during your remarks.
  • Make sure you are not muted when it is your turn to speak.
  • Do not rely on your phone or computer for notes. Write them down on a piece of paper or print them out in case your computer or phone freeze.
  • Close other tabs and windows in your browser to make sure your connection is good.
  • If your microphone or internet connection doesn’t work then be prepared to call in on your phone using the number at the same link above.

New! Financial Resource Guide During COVID-19

The pandemic and economic crisis have created financial hardships for many New Mexicans. Many families have had difficulty accessing the financial resources available to help meet basic needs. In response, we have created the Financial Resource Guide During COVID-19.

The guide is  a comprehensive source of information about assistance—and New Mexicans’ rights to access it—available across the state now and in the future.

The guide includes information about programs funded through federal legislation like the American Recovery Plan Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, as well as long-standing state and local programs that can help families with food, housing, healthcare, child care, and more.

Access the resource guide here: http://nmpovertylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/NMCLP-COVID-Guide.pdf

Expect the Spanish language version soon!

ACTION ALERT: An important housing bill still needs to be heard by a Senate committee before it can cross the finish line.

House Bill 111 would expand eviction time frames and allow renters additional time to access the millions of dollars in federal rental assistance money that must be spent by the end of the year. New Mexico can’t afford to leave this money on the table! 

This is the last week of the session. The bill has already been passed by the House with strong support from the New Mexico Apartment Association. 

We need your help to get  this bill scheduled and heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee! Please call and email members of the committee and Majority Floor Leader Sen. Peter Wirth TODAY and ask them to schedule HB 111!

New Mexico was already in a housing crisis before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless we take action now, there will be a tidal wave of evictions as soon as the public health emergency ends, threatening our health and economic recovery as a state. 

New Mexico has some of the shortest eviction time frames in the U.S. —often too short to access rental assistance, resulting in tenants being evicted and landlords losing income even when rental relief is available. 

Majority Floor Leader

Senate Judiciary Committee

Action Alert: Support legislation to strengthen housing stability in NM!

All New Mexicans need access to housing

On Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Legislature’s House Judiciary Committee will consider House Bill 111, which would modernize our housing laws to strengthen housing stability, reduce barriers to housing, and establish a statewide entity for housing policy.

We need your help to provide public comment at the hearing in support of this bill!

New Mexico was already in a housing crisis before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless we take action now, there will be a tidal wave of evictions as soon as the public health emergency ends, threatening our health and economic recovery as a state.

New Mexico has some of the shortest eviction time frames in the U.S.—often too short to access rental assistance, resulting in tenants being evicted and landlords losing income even when rental relief is available. Other tenants face discrimination or even eviction when landlords reject rental assistance or other lawful sources of income used to pay rent.

HB 111 would stop this discrimination and expand the eviction timeframes to allow tenants to get caught up on their rent and stay in their homes.

Instructions:

When: 1:30 p.m., Monday, February 15

How to join: Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89543370073 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16699009128,,89543370073# or +12532158782,,89543370073# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 Webinar ID: 895 4337 0073

What to expect during the hearing: The committee will be taking public comment. The chair of the committee (Gail Chasey) will announce the bill and ask who supports HB 111. At that time, to provide a comment use the Zoom reaction button and raise your hand. The Chair will call your name and unmute your zoom when it is your turn to speak.

HB 111 summary: http://nmpovertylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Factsheet-2.pdf
House Bill 111 modernizes the New Mexico housing code by: 1) improving the balance between the rights of landlords and the rights of tenants, so families who can pay rent and comply with their lease are not evicted, 2) reducing barriers to housing for New Mexicans using housing vouchers and other lawful sources of income such as social security income to pay rent, and 3) creating a statewide housing council to address housing policy and coordinate state resources directed to addressing housing in New Mexico.

Tips for public comment:

  • Keep your remarks brief and to the point. 
  • If you have a personal story about being unable to access housing because you pay rent with a voucher or other source of income that doesn’t come from a job, or you have a personal story about being evicted because you were temporarily behind on rent, please share it.
  • When you login to Zoom, please rename yourself with your full name so the moderator can find you easily.
  • Make sure you are not muted when you start speaking.
  • Do not rely on your computer or phone for notes. Write them down or print them, just in case your computer screen freezes.
  • Close other tabs and windows in your browser to make sure your connection is good.
  • If your connection or microphone doesn’t work, be prepared to call in with the information above.

All New Mexicans deserve access to fair loans.

With your support, Senate Bill 66 passed the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee! The bill would require an all-inclusive 36% APR cap in New Mexico. We need your help to get it through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

New Mexico has one of the highest interest rate caps in the country. Lenders across the state are making loans with annual interest rates of 175% APR. A family who borrows a storefront loan for just a few hundred dollars will end up paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

It’s time for New Mexico to have a 36% APR cap to ensure all New Mexicans have access to fair and affordable loans. Please call or email members of the committee TODAY and urge them to support an all-inclusive 36% cap.

You might share a personal story with legislators about why no one should be allowed to charge triple-digit interest rates. You might also share why you support the bill. For example: “I urge the Senator to support SB 66 for an all-inclusive 36% cap on storefront loans. No one should have to choose between paying their rent and making payments on a triple-digit loan. All New Mexicans deserve access to fair and responsible credit.”

You may also comment during the online hearing MONDAY at 1:30 p.m. To comment, send an email to SJC@nmlegis.gov with your name, whether you are in support or against, and whether you would like to give public comment by Sunday, February 14 at 5:00 p.m. If you wish to provide written comments, keep them to 300 words or less. You will be contacted by the Zoom Operator with the virtual meeting instructions.

Contact information for the senators is below.

Sincerely,
Lindsay Cutler

Senate Judiciary Committee

  • Senator Joseph Cervantes (Chair): (505) 397-8820; joseph.cervantes@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Bill O’Neill (Vice Chair): (505) 397-8838; oneillsd13@billoneillfornm.com
  • Senator Cliff Pirtle: (505) 986-4369; cliff.pirtle@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Gregory A. Baca: (505) 986-4877; greg.baca@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Katy Duhigg (co-sponsor of SB 66): (505) 397-8823; katy.duhigg@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto: (505) 397-8830; daniel.ivey-soto@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Linda Lopez: (505) 397-8833; linda.lopez@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Mark Moores: (505) 986-4856; mark.moores@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Mimi Stewart: (505) 397-8853; mimi.stewart@nmlegis.gov