In late August, Melissa Roecker walked into the first house she had ever owned.

“It felt like a big accomplishment,” she said.

Roecker, a pharmacist at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, is one of more than 100 employees who were able to become homeowners through a partnership between Christus St. Vincent and the nonprofit Homewise, which helps with down payment assistance and financing.

The hospital hopes to double the number of employees who benefit from the partnership through a second phase, spokesman Arturo Delgado said in a news release.

In addition, it recently converted what had been a $1 million loan to Homewise into a grant to boost homeownership efforts in the community.

The grant will allow Homewise to leverage its credit so it can secure up to four or five times as much in loans this year, CEO Mike Loftin said.

“We want to be able to help as many people as possible,” he said, “and that isn’t something we can do alone.”

Lillian Montoya, president and CEO of Christus St. Vincent, said in a statement on the grant, “This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Homewise.”

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She added, “Homeownership instills a sense of pride and contributes to the overall health of our employees and our community.”

In addition to helping New Mexico residents purchase homes, Homewise has been building a mixed-use development in Santa Fe, with family homes, live-work space, commercial space and community meeting rooms, Loftin said.

Over the course of his 28 years as CEO of Homewise, Loftin said, he has watched the nonprofit grow steadily.

According to its fiscal year 2019 report, the nonprofit serviced $469 million in loans, offered $6.4 million in down payment assistance and had more than $142 million in assets that year.

The grant from Christus St. Vincent may seem small in comparison, but Loftin said it will help the organization aid far more new homeowners.

Roecker lauded Christus St. Vincent for offering the support. “It’s always good to see a business give back to the community,” she said.

“I would recommend Homewise to everyone,” Roecker added.

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(3) comments

BARRY SILVER

UPDATE

In a telephone conversation today, the EDITOR told me he would have a reporter look

into the IRS filings and speak with the executives responsible for these corporate entities to learn if there are issues .

thank you phil.

[the article was written by an intern who reports to the EDITOR ]

Stefanie Beninato

I would like to know where Homewise is currently building a mixed development community. Certainly it has its fingers in the pie at Midtown campus which we learned (surprise! not!) that the housing component would be mixed type with retail, common work spaces (did they think about the effects of COVID?), libraries etc in the ground floors. And Christus St Vicent is going to be a partner with Homewise in the development of the Midtown Campus. Too many ties, too little transparency, too much cronyism.

BTW the developers of Railyard Flats and the ugly , ugly apartments at Cordova and Penn rds are partners in the housing component of Midtown. Given they did fee in lieu of should we trust the developers to actually put in affordable housing? They swore on Tu 23 Jun 202o that affordable housing was definitely going to be in the mix.

BARRY SILVER

WOW..................who else read this closely? who else did the math?

Based on the asset value reported [$ 142 million], this charitable non profit

''offered'' $6 million {4 tenths of one percent [ .o4]of its total assets} to folks needing cash to buy a home.

were all the ''offers'' actually accepted?

AND then our friendly, generous Christus ST. Vincent gifted the not for profit $1million of our healthcare dollars to its store house of $ 142 million in reported assets.

Do these numbers and this corporate relationship add up to charity to our brothers and sisters, or is there something else happening here?

santa feans expect a follow up story explaining this fairy tale.

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