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Santa Fe Governing Body Donates City-Owned Property To Habitat For Humanity

This parcel at 635 Alto Street will be site of five new homes built by Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity.
Kevin Meerschaert
This parcel at 635 Alto Street will be site of five new homes built by Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity.

The Santa Fe Governing Body has voted to donate a parcel of land on Alto Street to Habitat for Humanity in hopes of spurring more in-fill affordable housing in the city.

The parcel will be used for the construction of five affordable homes for income-qualified home buyers.

Habitat uses volunteers and donated materials to build the homes. The future owners invest sweat equity in the construction.

The developers were selected through an RFP process. The project team that scored the highest was headed by Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity, which proposed building five homes, arranged in a traditional Santa Fe compound. 

The building materials are contemporary modular components provided through a partnership with a local design firm, B.Public. The objective is to reduce construction time and construction waste and maximize energy efficiency of the finished homes without sacrificing quality, affordability or design aesthetics.

Kurt Krahn, Executive Director of Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity, estimates that these homes will cost approximately $225,000 to construct, with monthly housing payments of $600-$800.

“We are thrilled to pilot this approach with B.Public,” he said. “The thermal envelope goes up in days rather than months, which simplifies framing, sheathing, and insulation into a single sequence, greatly reducing construction time and construction waste and resulting in a home with much lower energy use.”

Mayor Alan Webber says the donated city-owned parcel is the first of what is hoped to be several that will be turned into affordable housing for working families.

“Over the past few years we’ve identified a number of tracts of city owned property, some small like the one we adopted (Wednesday), others more sizable,” he said. “All of them needing to be considered, having the appropriate zoning done, the appropriate assessment done of their buildability, but if they pass the test, I’d like to get those out so affordable housing can be built in partnership with developers in Santa Fe.”           

Webber says Habitat is a perfect partner to build the homes given that their mission squares with the city’s policy goals of bringing more housing options for Santa Fe families.

He says it will be a great compliment to the homes already in the area and hopefully will inspire others to help bring more workforce housing to Santa Fe neighborhoods.