PROJECTUsing State Data to Target Homeowner Assistance Fund Dollars Where Owners Are at Risk of Foreclosure


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  • New Mexico is home to just over 525,000 homeowners, of which an estimated 68 percent earn up to 150 percent of the area median income (AMI). New Mexico shows significant variation in the predicted foreclosure risk by county, with Lea County having the highest risk at 5.6 percent, and two counties, Harding and De Baca, having less than a 1 percent predicted foreclosure rate.

    Predicted foreclosure rate, by county

    SourcesUrban Institute and US Census Bureau.

    New Mexico also has one of the largest Indigenous shares of the total population among US states. Two counties with significant Indigenous populations, Cibola and San Juan, are among the five counties with the highest predicted foreclosure risk in the state (outlined in pink above and below). 

    Share of Indigenous homeowners, by census tract

    Source: 2019 American Community Survey.

    Evidence suggests the pandemic’s lasting economic impacts may be hitting Indigenous homeowners harder than other homeowners. Indigenous homeowners are more likely to be cost-burdened than the average homeowner, and they faced higher unemployment rates during pandemic-related shutdowns. 

    The share of homeowners earning less than 100 percent of the AMI tells a slightly different story of risk than our predicted foreclosure rate, with counties in western New Mexico having larger shares of homeowners with low and moderate incomes than counties in the rest of the state. Two of the five counties with the highest shares of these homeowners, Cibola and McKinley, have large Indigenous populations. In McKinley County, Indigenous people represent more than three-quarters of the population.

    Share of homeowners earning less than 100 percent of the AMI, by county

    Sources: 2019 American Community Survey and Urban Institute calculations.

    Research Areas Housing finance
    Policy Centers Housing Finance Policy Center