AN AFFORDABLE HOME PURCHASE SOLUTION FOR ALL: Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez champions an innovative approach to helping renters become sustainable homeowners

U.S. Congressional Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez pioneers a bold vision for New Mexico and the nation by leveraging Community Project Funding to strengthen affordable homeownership opportunities for people of color.

“Everybody understands that buying a home is important for the community, for building wealth, for building the middle class,” notes Teresa. She believes that providing downpayment assistance in the form of homeownership vouchers rather than subsidizing rent vouchers is one way to grow a stronger, healthier community. “It’s a beautiful vision of what we can do, and it’s simple!”


8,412 hours

of free, 1-on-1, personalized financial coaching in English and Spanish

1,024 clients

worked with a Homewise advisor and became financially ready to buy a home

$107.5k in grant money

received from our generous donors to support our educational programs

12 disinvested properties

that Homewise acquired, renovated, and sold to individuals and families with modest incomes

224 clients

worked with our Realtors® and found the right home for their budget and lifestyle

116 clients

worked with our Realtors® to quickly sell their homes, 28 of which were sold to Homewise clients who were first-time homebuyers

$5.5M in mortgage loans

that are serviced by Homewise

5.875% fixed rate

offered on a 30-year mortgage loan to qualified borrowers who purchased a Homewise Home®

98.4%* of our clients

made their mortgage payment on time, a significantly higher rate than the national average

*as of 3/31/23

$750,000 in grant money

pledged by our business partner CHRISTUS St. Vincent/Anchorum over the next 3 years. Funds will support downpayment assistance, a savings program, financial literacy and homebuyer education classes.

43 events

attended by Homewise staff to promote our homeownership services, including events focused on Black and Native communities.


average amount of equity accrued as of 3/23

by clients who purchased their home with Homewise in 2018

95 points

average increase in credit score

for clients who started with a score under 640*


median increase in savings

for clients who started with less than $5,000 savings*


monthly decrease in debt

for clients who started with 10% or more debt ratio*

*clients who successfully completed the steps in their financial action plan


Our endeavors to reduce the racial wealth gap in the past fiscal year have included intentional outreach efforts that raise awareness and engagement among Black and Native American families regarding the economic advantages of homeownership. One important first step has been building relationships with underserved communities to help them better understand and overcome the hurdles to homeownership through education and coaching for buyer readiness. Our strategy was to target the places where each cultural community gathers to position Homewise as an accessible resource for financial fitness and homebuyer education, and home purchase services.

In the Black community, we began our efforts with pastors and congregants of Black churches. While the Black population is small in New Mexico—2.7% in the state and 3.4% in Bernalillo county—the church remains the largest gathering of Blacks in the community on a weekly basis. We have also been collaborating with the Divine Nine, a group of historically Black fraternities with chapters in Albuquerque whose service-oriented members have strong economic ties and cultural and community influence. We are commencing student oriented financial fitness training workshops to include UNM’s African Student Services at the undergraduate level and Albuquerque Public Schools Black Student Union at the High School level. Other groups include Vizionz-Sankofa, an organization that serves Black refugees, the NM Black Leadership Council, and the African American Greater Area Chamber of Commerce.

Our work with the Native American communities is also increasing. We engaged students and parents of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), and connected with various tribes and/or tribal housing authorities to develop Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Fannie Mae in order to expand lending activities and financial education on Tribal Land. Other relationships forged include Indian Health Services’ Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Council, the Center for Native American Health, and the New Mexico Department of Health’s Office of Community Workers.

In May, Homewise participated in a NeighborWorks symposium titled ‘It Takes a Village: Achieving Black Wealth and Economic Prosperity.’ From kitchen table discussions to one-on-one interviews, many thought leaders, strategists, experts, and community practitioners joined together to discuss sustainable solutions for building generational wealth for Black families. Speakers also explored how history and existing policies and practices continue to hinder socioeconomic equity for Black households in the U.S. Homewise was featured as one of six NeighborWorks network members that are charging the way and creating opportunities for financial prosperity within Black communities.

As a result of our efforts, we now have 26 new Black and Native American partner organizations that have either co-sponsored a virtual or in-person event (seminar, workshop, or sponsorship) with us, or have agreed to work with us in the near future.


Read their full stories on our blog and learn about the challenges they overcame to become successful homeowners.


Tiara appreciated the high level
of communication while working with her Homewise Realtors®, who guided her step-by-step through a daunting ‘seller’s market.’


Andrew and Cate were raising
their two young daughters in a small apartment, but found renting stressful and longed to have a home of their own.


Jerome and Julian were able to get past their most challenging hurdle for purchasing a home when they received downpayment assistance from Homewise.


Since moving to Santa Fe 20 years ago, Eduardo worked hard to make his dreams come true. He is now the owner/chef of Zacatlán, a popular restaurant near the Plaza that has received high praise for its innovative cuisine. His wife, Aleida, is one of the owners of A&A Beauty Bar, a full service salon on Cordova Road. They recently accomplished another big dream: to own their own home. Eduardo and Aleida live in Desert Sage, a Homewise Homes® community in the south side of Santa Fe. “Now we have a better life. I don’t say we didn’t have a good life before but now we have our own life, together,” Eduardo shared. “That’s why we decided to jump to buy this amazing, beautiful house.”


Back in the summer of 2018, Homewise was pleased to assist a new charter school attain financing for the purchase of land in southwest Albuquerque. The Solare Collegiate Charter School, which opened its doors in 2019, now has 193 students enrolled in grades 5 – 8. The school has a minority student population of 92%, and all students are from economically disadvantaged families. Solare prides itself on being academically ambitious, and aims to put students on the path to success in high school and college.

Fast forward to December of 2022 when the school realized that they had purchased too much land for their needs, and once again partnered with Homewise, selling the nonprofit 6.9 acres. Solare used the money from the land sale to help pay off their loan; Homewise will use the land to build a new affordable residential community, the Sombra del Oeste Neighborhood.

The Neighborhood will consist of 75 energy-efficient townhomes priced to accommodate a mix of income levels, with forty percent of homes being affordable to families at or below 120% of the area median income. Because of the obvious proximity to Solare, Homewise is hoping to attract teachers and families who work and attend the school and want to live in this flourishing west side community.

Homes ranging from 1,200 to 1,900 s.f. will be available in two-, three-, and four-bedroom models. Residents will enjoy vast Sandia Mountain views and immediate access to the Amole Arroyo and the larger City of Albuquerque trails and open space system.

“Homewise is excited to provide new affordable homeownership opportunities to families on the west side of Albuquerque,” said Lisa Huval, Homewise Senior Director of Real Estate Development. “We appreciate our partnership with Solare Collegiate Charter School, which makes this community possible.”


Homewise is committed to helping New Mexico families attain financial security; that’s why we have prioritized narrowing the racial wealth gap by increasing homeownership rates among households of color. We are accomplishing this by making homeownership accessible and affordable through free homebuyer education and coaching, homebuyer financial assistance, the highest-quality fixed-rate mortgage products, and the development of quality-built homes.

A recent grant of $185,000 from the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA)’s Inclusive Communities Fund Grant Program is helping us narrow the racial wealth gap in Albuquerque by making grants of up to $10,000 in downpayment assistance to 18 African American and/or Hispanic households. Coupled with homebuyer education and other forms of homebuyer assistance, these grants will provide recipients with a much-needed ‘foot in the door’ to homeownership.

Homewise is proud to partner with NFHA to increase access to affordable homeownership for households of color in Albuquerque. NFHA is a national civil rights organization dedicated to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equitable housing opportunities for all people. Funding for NFHA’s Inclusive Communities Grant Program is made available through settlements resulting from enforcement of the Federal Fair Housing Act, such as last year’s historic settlement with Fannie Mae. Settlement funds are intended to benefit neighborhoods or populations that were disproportionately impacted by the 2008 foreclosure crisis and have been destabilized by housing discrimination. Helping Black and Hispanic families realize their dreams of homeownership is one way to mitigate the lasting damage caused by discriminatory practices and systemic racism.

The racial wealth gap of today arises from the unequal starting positions of children of color relative to White children and to the systemic and institutionalized discrimination that people of color continue to confront in American society. The wealth gap undermines children’s chances for financial success almost from the moment they are born. Homeownership is not the solution to wealth disparity, but as the primary means by which Americans build wealth, it plays a critical role in making our economy one of opportunity for all.

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Manuel came to Homewise unsure if he would ever be able to buy a home of his own. All the homes in his price range needed a lot of work, but as a single parent of two small children, he did not have the time or finances for a significant renovation. He needed a home that was move-in ready. Fortunately, he qualified for downpayment assistance through the Inclusive Communities Fund Grant Program and was able to purchase a 3-BR, 2-bath home in Albuquerque that had been completely remodeled with new appliances, HVAC system, and tankless water heater.

Suan, a traveling nurse, was ready to settle down and wished to purchase a home in Albuquerque. She heard about Homewise through her sister who had bought a home through us some years back. Suan was grateful to achieve her goal with help from the Inclusive Communities Fund Grant Program. She bought her first home just a block away from her sister, and plans to bring her mother and nieces up from Jamaica to live with her so that the family can all be together.



A teacher earning $50k will be able to purchase one of these homes. So will police officers, nurses, and hospitality workers.

LOS PRADOS: 100% of homes will be priced below the market rate. 50% will meet the City’s affordable housing guidelines

Santa Fe is facing the most severe affordable housing crisis in its history. The median home price exceeds $600,000, while median household income hovers around $60,000 per year; many families are finding that the only opportunity for homeownership might be Albuquerque or Rio Rancho, leaving them with long commute times and less time with friends and family.

Los Prados, a new proposed development on South Meadows Road, will help address our affordable housing crisis. Like all of our projects, Homewise will build homes that are affordable to working families and individuals, with home prices as low as $128,500. All the proposed 161 homes will be priced well below the median price of a home. Half of all homes built will meet the City’s guidelines for affordable housing, which is 2.5 times the required affordability standard. A teacher earning $50,000 will be able to purchase one of these homes. So will police officers, nurses, and hospitality workers.

There is also a great need for accessible green space at Los Prados. The area around it is one of the most densely populated and rapidly growing areas of Santa Fe. Residents of this area are more likely to be younger than within Santa Fe overall; in fact, over one-fourth of all Santa Fe youth live in this sector. Only 16 percent of residents in this area live within a 10-minute walk to a park, compared to the citywide average of 50 percent of residents. For all these reasons, we are committed to building a public six-acre park, which we will turn over to the City of Santa Fe.

Over a period of 21 months, Homewise staff and volunteers knocked on doors, organized our clients to share their stories of achieving the dream of homeownership, and worked with affordable housing stakeholders to fight for this model infill development. We hosted three early notification meetings, appeared in front of the Planning Commission three times, and were heard by the Governing Body twice. Opponents slung rapidly changing arguments – about preservation of open space, nuclear waste, and overtly racist claims – all of which put mud in the wheels of progress. While our clients and supporters were thrilled at our win in the late hours of the night on February 8th, 2023, where the Santa Fe Governing Body voted to approve our plan to build 161 units of housing at Los Prados, this slow and contentious process is a threat to affordable housing.

We knew it was time to go on the offense for affordable housing, which is why we launched the Livability in the Land of Enchantment Series. We are working diligently with a coalition of stakeholders to raise the level of dialogue about affordable housing, empowering both residents and public officials to act in defense of our entire community. We are inspired by the commitment and passion that members of this pro-affordable housing coalition have already demonstrated.


Tony Zancanella has a lot of ideas and big plans when it comes to transforming old industrial buildings into places where art can flourish. As the director of Opera Southwest (OSW) in Albuquerque, he has been working for the past ten years to bring one vision in particular to fruition. That vision became a reality in September of 2022 with the purchase of the 11,500 s.f. former Spitzer Automotive warehouse on 3rd and Mountain, just north of the downtown area. The building will now function as the Opera’s technical production facility where a staff of skilled technicians and artists can work their magic creating the sets, props and costumes that are integral to the opera experience.

Tony’s energy, enthusiasm and focus are evident from the moment he starts speaking of OSW’s latest investment. “This space allows us to build our own sets right here in Albuquerque, whereas formerly we’ve had to contract with companies in Texas, New England, and California.” OSW, he emphasizes, is now poised to provide critical jobs for the production side of theater. “These are good jobs, interesting jobs that will bring economic diversity and opportunity for skilled workers to one of Albuquerque’s core historic neighborhoods.”

OSW is also able to compete nationally for scenic and costume construction contracts, and take the lead on opera co-productions. “Our set for the opera Carmen,” Tony states proudly, “will travel to Santa Barbara, while the Turandot set from last season was part of a co-production with the opera companies of Fargo and Delaware, again, all built right here in Albuquerque.”

According to Dahl Delu, an Emmy award winning scenic designer who has produced a number of sets for OSW, workers had been relegated to substandard storage units, backyards, parking lots, driveways and empty retail space to build, paint and sew while trying to achieve professional results. “Albuquerque enjoys a talented theatrical workforce that has the necessary skills to grow the industry,” states Dahl, but until now, the lack of a professional scene shop to advance their art stymied this growth. “Opera Southwest’s new investment in this area is just what is needed.”

Another benefit of having their own work space is that OSW will be able to expand its apprentice training program for technical theater, which will develop the necessary skills to not only ensure the continued growth of local opera production, but can carry over to other workforce sectors, including the film industry.

And it’s not just about growing the Opera: Tony stresses that their new capabilities will serve as a shared asset for the broader theater community. “Our vision,” he says, “is to help create a robust arts and culture scene throughout Albuquerque.” Some of the groups that have already made use of the space include New Mexico Young Actors for their production of The Little Mermaid and the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival. Tony believes the facility will also support and enhance activity at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Popejoy Hall and the KiMo theater.

“Even if you are not an opera fan,” he notes, “if you care about theater, or live arts, or even the economic prosperity of our community—all of these areas will benefit, with OSW providing the means to lead the way forward.”

Over the last decade, OSW has grown from two productions per year with a budget of less than a half-million to four productions a year with a budget of 1.5 million, making OSW one of Albuquerque’s largest performing arts organizations. The production facility is funded through OSW’s capital campaign, a $500k grant from the state legislature capital outlay fund, and a commercial loan from Homewise. “I was looking for financing when a friend mentioned that Homewise is doing commercial lending. I found Homewise easy to deal with and they offered favorable terms. It was a positive experience.”

Johanna Gilligan, Chief External Affairs Officer at Homewise, feels that helping Opera Southwest purchase a building of their own was a great opportunity. “What they’re working toward aligns closely with our community development efforts to make neighborhoods more vibrant. It is an honor to help an organization that has been part of the Albuquerque arts scene for over 50 years achieve their goals to grow and thrive.”

With the production facility up and running at full steam, Tony is excited for the new season of performances to get underway. “I love the whole spectacle of opera—the fusion of voices, orchestra, lights, costumes, public reaction. Being able to bring all those pieces together and create special moments in theater has been my vocation, always.”

Tony Zancanella, the Executive Director of Opera Southwest in
Albuquerque, in the Opera’s new technical production facility.

Opera Southwest’s technical production facility at 1023 3rd St. NW.
Artist rendering courtesy of Dahl Delu.


Good information is the foundation of good policy. Homewisdom seeks to increase awareness and understanding of homeownership’s social, environmental, and economic benefits and to inform public policy through the development and dissemination of original research. Although Homewise is self-sufficient, and thus not dependent on government funding for day-to-day operations, policies enacted at all levels of government impact our ability to achieve our mission of improving well-being through homeownership. For example, the availability of state and federal funding and the restrictions around that funding help to determine how much downpayment assistance we can deploy on behalf of clients while local government land use decisions determine where we can build housing.

In FY 2023, Homewisdom produced white papers on housing affordability and the racial wealth gap, a webinar on the intersection between affordable housing and climate change, an interactive web-based map of the racial homeownership gap in the U.S., as well as numerous blog posts and social media content.


Your generosity is making a difference

Ally Bank

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Bank of Albuquerque

Bank of America

Bank of the West

Enterprise Bank & Trust

Fidelity Bank

Guadalupe Credit Union

Kirtland Federal Credit Union

New Mexico Bank & Trust

New Mexico Mutual

Nusenda Credit Union


Rio Grande Credit Union

Sandia Area Federal Credit Union

Self-Help Credit Union

Sunflower Bank/ First National 1870

Texas Capital Bank


United Business Bank

US Eagle Federal Credit Union

WaFd Bank

Wells Fargo


Albuquerque Community Foundation

Anchorum St. Vincent

Bank of America Charitable

Daniels Fund

Illinois No 3 Foundation

Kalliopeia Foundation

The Kuhn Foundation

Los Alamos National Laboratory

McCune Charitable Foundation

NBH Charitable Foundation

Nusenda Foundation

Erich and Hannah Sachs Foundation

Santa Fe Community Foundation

Thornburg Foundation

Community Businesses, Government Agencies and Nonprofits


CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center

City of Albuquerque

City of Rio Rancho

City of Santa Fe

CDFI Fund, US Treasury

Deloitte Consulting LLP

Housing Partnership Network

Los Alamos National Laboratory

National Fair Housing Alliance Inclusive Communities Fund

NeighborWorks America

NeighborWorks Capital

New Mexico Gas Co./Emera

New Mexico Mortgage Finance

New Mexico Small Business
Investment Corporation

Opportunity Finance Network

Sandia National Laboratories

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Community Planning
and Development

Religious Institutions

The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church

Mercy Investment Services

Religious Communities Impact Fund

Seton Enablement Fund

Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word

Individuals & Investment Funds

Nickolas Adams

Darcy Arcand


Avalon Trust

Avalon Trust clients

Balanced Rock clients

Joel Frederick Barber

Anne Beckett

Erika and Glenn Campos

Jill and Paul Cook

Susan and Conrad De Jong Fund

Lori and David Delgado

Anne Messbarger-Eguia

Cliff Feigenbaum

Kristina Flanagan

Goulston & Storrs clients

Naomi and Robb Hirsch

Michael Kelly

Joseph Kunkel

Teresa Leger de Fernandez

Ann Lockhart

Viola Lujan

Mike and Dee Maloof Family Fund

Genevieve and A. Paul Mitchell

Mitchell Family Trust

Agnes Noonan

Linda Ohmans and Matthew Witt

Josue Olivares

Laura M. Orchard

Karen E. Orso

Cynthia Piatt

Stacy S. Quinn

Reynders, McVeigh Capital
Management clients

Adam Roberts

Hayden Rose

Marissa Ruyle

Miriam Sagan

Saltbox Financial clients

Dr. Shelle Sanchez

Jenna Scanlon

Elizabeth and Richard Schnieders

Rebecca Sheff and Ethan Stone
Tikkun Olam Fund

Martha and Patterson Simons

Linda and Andrew Spingler

The Sustainability Group clients

Trillium Asset Management clients

Kathy Ulibarri

Paul Vogel

Debra A. Walsh

Carla Weil


Contact Darcy Arcand, Grant & Impact Investment Manager, to learn more about supporting solar power use through our Homewise Community Investment Fund.

The Notes are offered to both individual and institutional investors who reside in states in which our Notes are registered or exempt from registration. This currently includes: Alaska, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming.

Past performance is no guarantee of future performance or success. There is no suitability or fiduciary obligation performed for an investor by the issuer or any of its representatives. Investors should consider diversification in their investments. This notice is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation, or sale is not authorized. The offering is made solely by the Prospectus, which more fully describes certain risks involved in a purchase of securities. The securities are not FDIC or SIPC insured, are not bank deposits, and are not guaranteed by any federal agency.

As gas and electricity costs continue to rise, Homewise is helping make solar technology accessible to modest-income New Mexicans through affordable, fixed-rate financing. Our Solar Lending Program offers favorable terms, including financing of up to 30 years (depending on loan amount). Clients are able to enjoy the benefits of solar power, including saving on energy bills and increasing their home’s value, through manageable monthly payments.

It’s a great time to go solar. The average cost of solar energy systems in New Mexico has declined by over 36% in the past five years and over 80% in the past ten years1. And thanks to all the solar tax credits and federal incentives, installing a solar power system is more affordable than ever. But unfortunately, the up-front costs of converting to solar can still be prohibitive to many homeowners.

You can invest in a greener future for New Mexico by supporting our Solar Lending Program. Your support will ensure that our lower-income neighbors can take advantage of a clean, renewable energy source to save on home energy costs, live more sustainably, and thrive as homeowners—as well as help New Mexico reach its goal of attaining a carbon-neutral economy.


1 www.electricrate.com/solar-energy/new-mexico


our Leadership team

Mike Loftin
Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Slavin
Chief Financial Officer and
Chief Real Estate Development Officer

Elena Gonzales
Chief Operations Officer

Lois Page
Chief Information Officer

Kelly O’Donnell
Chief Research and Policy Officer

Rathi Casey
Chief Creative Officer

Johanna Gilligan
Chief External Affairs Officer

Lisa Huval
Senior Director of Real Estate Development


our board
of directors

Katherine Ulibarri, Chair

Anne Messbarger-Eguia, Vice Chair

Joseph Kunkel, Treasurer

Marissa Ruyle, Secretary

Andy Spingler

David Delgado

Erika Campos

Agnes Noonan

Dr. Shelle VanEtten de Sanchez

Paul Vogel

Amanda Kocon

Josue Olivares

Jade Rivera