When the ABC television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition recently came to the city of Albuquerque to rebuild one local resident’s home, they threw in a bonus:

In addition to a new home for Gerald Martinez – a Trumbull Village pastor who has spent considerable time, energy and resources to provide safe and affordable housing for residents in this troubled neighborhood – the show also demolished a block of empty houses in the area.

The Trumbull Village neighborhood, located in the Southeast section of the city, is one that has been plagued by violence, drugs, and poverty. The demolition will make way for the building of duplex apartments that will provide safe and affordable housing options for residents.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition visits families across the country with urgent housing needs. These families have faced a variety of challenges – from health issues to natural disasters, financial duress, and others – that have left them with housing conditions that are unlivable, unsafe, or otherwise unsuited to their needs.

In addition to helping the families by providing them with a new or refurbished home, the show usually helps a related mission, whether by contributing to a non-profit organization or giving some type of boost to the local community.

The Albuquerque episode advanced Pastor Martinez’ aspirations for the Trumbull Village neighborhood by making way for duplex apartments that will “provide a place to live for more families in need of affordable, safe housing,” according to a recent Albuquerque Tribune article. Martinez had already spent more than $60,000 on buying homes in the community and turning them into housing for the poor.

The show will air next season, but the demolition and construction took place in January. According to Policy Analyst Julian Moya, who works in City Council District 6, the Home Edition team did “an amazing job at the site, and also brought excitement to an area that already had pride."

Residents have been working hard to take back their neighborhood. “Like many American communities,” says Moya, “Trumbull Village has faced many challenges because it had been under-represented.”

"With the new City Councilor Rey Garduño, who has a background in community organizing and a grassroots perspective on community issues, we are very confident in Trumbull’s commitment to revitalization."

Redevelopment is also materializing in nearby communities. The Near Heights Redevelopment Plan and Nob Hill/Highland Redevelopment Plan – both designed to help communities located within District 6 – outline plans to revitalize neighborhoods and enhance their livability. Specific strategies aim to enhance public safety, identify and preserve neighborhood character, stimulate the local economies, and encourage diverse housing opportunities.