VILLAGE GREEN (Pueblo Verde)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

GreenWORKS challenge:

In Santa Fe, an aggressive real-estate market, expensive land, high building costs, and complicated development processes and land use practices have all contributed to higher home prices. Work force employees can’t afford 80% of the properties listed within the city limits.  Consequently, residents, many whose roots in Santa Fe go back generations, have been priced out of the housing markets where they work, forcing them to either move or commute long distances from areas they can afford to jobs in the city.

Through annexation, a large concentration of affordable housing has been recently created on the south side of the city, while expensive market rate prices are maintained within the city’s historic core. City leaders and officials recognize this problem and understand that affordable development within the city’s core is a more efficient use of the urban land surplus and existing infrastructure as it lowers the cost of public services like transit, sidewalks, water and sewer, school, and public safety. Despite City policies that encourage infill housing and the integration of affordably-priced housing into highly valued neighborhoods, many residents in Santa Fe actively speak out against new development in the urban core.

This GreenWORKS design was conceived in response to this challenge. The design not only met Santa Fe’s new green building code, as well as the criteria of Green Communities, but also conforms to historic design standards. Importantly, the design integrates two affordably-priced homes into the project, reserved for buyers with moderate incomes who would normally not be able to afford homes in this neighborhood.