Let’s get with the LINC pro­gram


An­nounc­ing that Santa Fe has a short­age of af­ford­able hous­ing is not go­ing to turn heads to­day be­cause ev­ery­one knows that. Rather, let’s dis­cuss that es­ti­mated 50 per­cent of Santa Fe’s wage earn­ings are paid to peo­ple who live out­side of Santa Fe County. This tremen­dous loss to our econ­omy should turn heads and cause out­rage all the way down Cer­ril­los Road. A lot of ef­fort went into cre­at­ing a liv­ing wage that Santa Fe busi­nesses pay, so why are half those wages go­ing home to neigh­bor­ing coun­ties?

“Bring­Work­ers Home” is the new rally call to help peo­ple who work in Santa Fe but can’t find hous­ing here. The Santa Fe As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors re­cently hosted aWork­forceHous­ing Con­fer­ence in an ef­fort to bring folks to­gether to work on solv­ing this prob­lem. It be­gan with a pre­sen­ta­tion from Todd Clarke, a com­mer­cial real-es­tate bro­ker and dy­namic speaker with a re­sumé longer than a Cheese­cake Fac­tory menu. Mr. Clarke helped iden­tify our hous­ing prob­lem and quan­ti­fied our hous­ing short­age through gap anal­y­sis. By his es­ti­mates, Santa Fe would need to add 6,428 apart­ment units to meet 100 per­cent of the need. The de­mand demon­strated was for both lux­ury and af­ford­able units and the in­come data that Mr. Clarke pre­sented in­di­cated that sus­tain­able rents would be in the range of $1,388 to $2,083. He fur­ther iden­ti­fied the de­mog­ra­phy of the market as well as where ge­o­graph­i­cally those units would be best built. The no­tion of “cre­at­ing com­mu­ni­ties” and the “de­sir­abil­ity of walk­a­bil­ity” were note­wor­thy watch­words in the pre­sen­ta­tion.

MattO’Reilly fromthe City of Santa Fe af­firmed the city’s sup­port for the Mid­town Lo­cal In­no­va­tion Cor­ri­dor (LINC) project that the city adopted as Or­di­nance 2016-39 on Oct. 26, 2016. Its goal is to in­cen­tivize re­de­vel­op­ment of pri­vately held prop­erty along the St. Michaels Drive cor­ri­dor, now re­ferred to as the Mid­town LINC Over­lay Dis­trict. It is 378 acres of land idyl­li­cally lo­cated in the mid­dle of the city and com­posed up of mainly park­ing lots and un­de­vel­oped land. The city is of­fer­ing gen­er­ous in­cen­tives to de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate mul­ti­fam­ily hous­ing and com- merce in this cru­cial part of the city that has be­come stag­nant in re­cent years.

Clos­ing the con­fer­ence was the renowned ar­chi­tect Manny Gon­za­lez, who dis­cussed in­no­va­tive hous­ing projects that could work for Santa Fe. He high­lighted the sim­plic­ity of zon­ing mul­ti­fam­ily hous­ing closer to res­i­dents’ ac­tiv­i­ties and in­ter­ests. Un­der­stand­ing that se­nior cit­i­zens en­joy spend­ing time in places like li­braries, cafés, and cof­fee shops, he dis­played pho­tographs of suc­cess­ful projects where apart­ments for se­niors were built above a lo­cal li­brary or a nat­u­ral gro­cery store. Imag­ine cre­at­ing af­ford­able and lux­ury apart­ment build­ings above recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties like Sal­vador Perez and Fort Marcy. We don’t know a prop­erty man­ager in town that would have trou­ble find­ing oc­cu­pants for those units.

The con­fer­ence was a great suc­cess and hope­ful­ly­marks the be­gin­ning of a se­ri­ous push to make Santa Fe home to the peo­ple whowork here. That fact of the mat­ter is that to bring our work­ers home we must cre­ate af­ford­able, de­sir­able hous­ing. Sim­ple laws of sup­ply and de­mand show that to in­crease af­ford­able hous­ing within the city lim­its, den­sity must in­crease and there is in­her­ent re­sis­tance to that. Butwhat if we all got be­hind do­ing den­sity dif­fer­ent and do­ing it bet­ter?

Roger andMelissa are Real­tors at Keller Wil­liams. Melissa is the 2017 pres­i­dent of the Santa Fe As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors. Call them at 505-699-3112, email twicethe­selling­power@gmail.com, or fol­low them on Twit­ter @Car­so­nandCar­son and at www. face­book.com/car­so­nandcar­son.santafe­r­ealestate

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