I first moved to Santa Fe in 1965 and have watched as the town morphed into a small city. Growth and change are inevitable and not unwarranted. However, the striking explosion of apartment building approvals during the Webber administration, promoted as an answer to Santa Fe’s need for affordable housing, neither answers that need nor demonstrates intelligent expansion that preserves the city’s unique character.
According to the city’s Office of Affordable Housing, the approximate number of “affordable housing units” in Santa Fe is 2,000. According to The Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe had 16 apartment projects with 1,548 units in various phases of construction, with 161 units identified as affordable by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department metrics (“Market buildup: Large Santa Fe apartment projects move forward with construction,” June 16, 2020).
Another six large apartment projects with a combined 1,236 units had received city Planning Commission approval, with the 355-unit Madera Apartments (since reduced to 218) set to become Santa Fe’s largest apartment complex, located across South Meadows Road from the South Meadows Apartments.