The Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition is extending a community-wide request for proposals (RFP) for funding to support a series of public projects aimed at drawing attention to the housing affordability issue in Santa Fe and inspiring action. Together, we can #MakeHousingHappen!
THE HOUSING CRISIS IN SANTA FE
As we have know, Santa Fe has been suffering from an extreme shortage of affordable housing for a long time. Vacancy rates in the City of Santa Fe are below 3%, while rents have increased over 30% in the last three years. According to the City’s own estimates[i], 53% of our city’s workforce are commuters, and a staggering 72% of working families left Santa Fe due to the high cost of housing. As a result, working families and young people are finding it harder and harder to become and remain housing-secure in the city we would all like to call ‘home’. Housing affordability, of course, highlights the gap between housing cost and wages, and the need to address the fact that wages aren’t keeping up with housing cost increases. Here in Santa Fe, over half a decade of insufficient housing and policy has resulted in over a 46% rent increase in just the last 5 years. Most alarmingly, data from the 2018 Census reports that 85% of renters earning less than $50,000 a year in Santa Fe are paying more than they can afford for housing.
Additionally, the ongoing national health crisis has only served to exacerbate the already dire circumstances many working families face and the City and County of Santa Fe have no dedicated funding source for their respective Affordable Housing Trust Funds. Currently, the City of Santa Fe requires 5000 units of new rental housing for low and moderate-income families, 3000 of which are needed to serve very low-income people. To do nothing is an economic injustice.
Our communities and neighbors and families need to be heard. We need to be involved. We need to be inspired. We need to be healed. The Struggle is Real (SIR) Project is designed with those critical aspects in mind and invites Santa Feans to share representations of lived experiences and narratives of those impacted by housing issues and insecurity. This project serves as an opportunity to showcase the very real impact and benefit that investment in affordable housing has on communities. SIR is a chance to create change. And, importantly, this project will help show our leaders how and why it is so important to invest in both the City & County of Santa Fe Affordable Housing Trust Funds.
To make that happen, the Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition is asking Santa Feans to craft and create innovative, informative, and impactful projects that highlight and demand adequate funding for our communities affordable housing needs, inspire action from our communities and leadership, and to perhaps outline innovative solutions to the housing crisis in Santa Fe.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested applicants will apply via the form below. The deadline to apply is March 12, 2021 at 5pm. Projects will be selected with the goal of reaching a large number of constituents through a variety of media that highlights and demands adequate funding for our communities’ affordable housing needs, inspires action from our communities and leadership, and may even be so bold as to introduce innovative and actionable solutions to the housing crisis in Santa Fe.
Selected projects will be awarded a stipend of up to $1500 to help realize their project vision based on the following criteria:
■ The project clearly demonstrates/highlights the need for adequate funding for Affordable Housing in Santa Fe;
■ The project demonstrates the impact of investment or disinvestment in affordable housing;
■ The project attempts to/proposes inspiration for community involvement in and commitment to affordable housing.
Applicants are encouraged to take a look at and familiarize themselves with the mission, goals, and priorities of the Santa Fe Housing Action Coalition.
As a state and as a nation, we are at an inflection point, and we can’t protest our way to housing equity and solutions. It is our hope that the SIR project can jumpstart, illuminate, and mobilize proactive strategies and investments that will reverse the housing crisis we find ourselves in. It is our greatest worry that we risk losing more working families and native Santa Feans, and the cultural diversity which truly makes our community a city different. Together, we can change the housing landscape in Santa Fe.