Santa Fe has never been afraid to be different. Historically an accessible, creative, affordable community, Santa Fe is changing, making it unaffordable for our young people, in spite of a creative revitalization led by young artists, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Further, over half of our core workforce — teachers, nurses, firefighters and others — commute to the city every day, often not by choice. Housing affordability is one of the key factors determining not only who comes to our community but also who gets to stay, participate and contribute.

Just three weeks ago, The New Mexican reported that median home prices in Santa Fe surpassed $600,000. And while this price surge of nearly 30 percent over the past year is part of a national macroeconomic trend, the tools to deconstruct barriers to homeownership, increase access to affordable rental units and create vibrant neighborhoods are found at the local level. Advancing housing affordability begins with a broad community embrace of building new homes that are accessible to our young people, creatives and workforce.

Matt Smith is a nonprofit leader and lives in Santa Fe.