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We’re in an affordable housing crisis. That’s no secret.

 

To the residents of Santa Fe ––

We’re in an affordable housing crisis. That’s no secret.

That’s why Homewise took a key step in our ongoing mission to improve affordable housing access in Santa Fe last week. On April 29, we closed on the purchase of 22 acres of empty land in South Meadows to build Los Prados, a proposed new community that will bring much needed opportunities for families to purchase an affordable home.

Since we started the process of purchasing the land nearly a year ago in May 2021, we’ve taken the time to go door to door in the surrounding neighborhoods. We heard from hundreds of residents about the needs and preferences of the community. And we learned from that engagement. In addition to more affordable homes, the Southside needs a functioning park. That’s why, as part of the development, we will build a new park that will include play structures as well as sporting and picnic areas –– and it will be integrated into the Acequia Bike Trail corridor.

We have a decades-long track record of helping Santa Feans become homeowners. And purchasing this land fits within our mission to create positive change for New Mexicans through developing high quality affordable homes –– especially at a time when the median price of a home has never been higher in Santa Fe.

Unfortunately, not everyone in our city recognizes the affordable housing crisis we are in. As we’ve worked over the last 11 months to design the project, get community input, and make adjustments, the Santa Fe Planning Commission and Land Use Department have obstructed this critical homeownership project at every turn. When we first went under contract for the property in May 2021, the median sold home price in Santa Fe County was $505,000. 11 months later, the median sold home price has skyrocketed 25% to $631,000.

In the last meeting to consider our proposal, the Planning Commission opted to run out the clock –– knowing that our purchase agreement on the land expired at the end of April –– and refused to even take a vote on our proposal. In fact, Planning Commissioner Pilar Faulkner questioned whether Santa Fe even has an affordable housing crisis, and claimed the City needs to do additional studies.

We refuse to accept the status quo. We refuse to sit by as the Planning Commission tries to stall or deliberately obstruct progress rather than help ease our city’s affordable housing crisis. We will continue to fight for what’s right for Santa Feans.

That’s why we moved forward with our plans to purchase the vacant South Meadows land. We believe the elected body of the City Council understands that improving access to affordable housing in Santa Fe has never been more critical and will not go along with the Planning Commission’s efforts to just keep kicking the can down the road.

We will always do what’s good and what’s right for the residents of Santa Fe. And that’s why we’ll continue to fight for more affordable housing at South Meadows.

Signed,

Mike Loftin, CEO, Homewise