Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of the most expensive communities in the nation in which to live. With a median home price of over $400,000, it is nearly impossible for working professionals to purchase a home, which has led to critical levels of economic segregation. In 2007, a parcel of land in Santa Fe was purchased to develop 50 affordable homes on the Old Las Vegas Highway by Homewise, Inc. The homes would make it possible for teachers, nurses, police officers and other professionals with moderate incomes to live where they work and participate thoroughly in the local community. However, opposition to the development from some local residents created a roadblock for development of the proposed homes.
The Focal Point’s Role
The Focal Point, providing pro bono services on behalf of Homewise, Inc., worked with Executive Director Mike Loftin and Real Estate Development Manager Emilee Ford to create a graphic presentation for Homewise in this highly-charged community development situation. We produced a series of graphics that taught the realities of living in a community where housing is unaffordable for people with moderate incomes and demonstrated how the Homewise project would strengthen the local community. The presentation also showed how the project would protect the sensitive Santa Fe ecosystem by using cutting-edge environmental construction materials and techniques. The graphics were designed to help Mr. Loftin and Ms. Ford interact conversationally with the council and community members, while they made the case that affordable home ownership is a critical factor in alleviating economic segregation in Santa Fe.
After an extended hearing, the City Council of Santa Fe voted unanimously to approve the annexation and development of the Old Las Vegas Highway land parcel. This victory will provide 50 families with the opportunity to participate in the dream of home ownership and will strengthen the local community by making it possible for people with moderate incomes to live in the community in which they work.
City Council of Santa Fe
The Focal Point’s Client
Mike Loftin, Executive Director
Emilee Ford, Real Estate Development Manager