Sanctioned homeless encampments a terrible idea

The Albuquerque Journal is half right in its recent editorial that IF they lead to the removal of unsanctioned camps, sanctioned encampments are worth a pilot project. Of course, the problem is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that sanctioned encampments will lead to an improvement in the overall “homeless” situation in the City.

Shockingly a City Council committee has advanced an amendment to the zoning code permitting up to 45 encampments throughout the City.

Based on a combination of logic and past experience, large numbers of encampments will lead to more so-called “homeless” flocking to Albuquerque and an even worse situation than before. Here and Here are a few authors who have written in detail about the issue and its impact on businesses and various parts of the City.

Incentives matter in human behavior (that’s the underlying principle of economics). Solving homelessness is likely beyond the capabilities of government, but unoccupied “tiny homes” continue to sit unused.

As the following video explains, helping those who want help, families, and others who are temporarily unable to find housing is important, but that is not the majority of the problem. Enforcement of property rights, not further erosion of our public spaces is necessary.