ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — Would you want a house full of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics as neighbors?
There are now eight of those homes in neighborhoods throughout Albuquerque, and some people don't like it.
Residents in three neighborhoods have asked the city to help, but they may not be able to do anything about it.
According to federal documents filed by attorneys for the city of Albuquerque, a house on Constitution NE, a home near Juan Tabo NE and another near Snowheights and Morris NE are
Oxford House homes -- homes where drug addicts and alcoholics live recovering from their addictions.
City Attorney David Tourek says zoning laws only allow up to five people who are not related to live in a home, but they say Oxford homes have a lot more than that.
The city believes they are in violation of zoning laws, but there's a snag.
Does federal law protect these people, trumping the city zoning laws? The city wants to find that out and have filed a complaint in federal court asking a judge to decide one way or another.
"We just want guidance," Tourek said. "We need to know that when we go out and enforce a law that the code enforcement officers are properly doing it."
Jeff Hunt, the local outreach coordinator for Oxford, says he's not worried. He says this has come up in federal court more than 100 other times across the country.
Hunt says he believes the city will lose this fight.
The city hopes a federal judge will make a decision in the next three to four months.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.