The work of the Community Development Commission (CDC) is guided by the City of Santa Fe Five Year Strategic Plan, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Consolidated Plan, federal CDBG regulation and local code, SFCC 26.
Composed of seven members, the commission is chaired by a City Councilor appointed by the Mayor and residents of the community approved by the Governing Body. Members serve 3-year terms. When a commissioner’s term expires, the Office of Affordable Housing announces the vacancy and conducts an application and interview process. Selected applicants are presented to the Chair and Mayor for nomination, and the Governing Body approves the final roster.
The current roster includes Councilor Renee Villarreal (Chair), John Padilla, Rosario Torres, Ken Hughes, Anne Watkins, Alyssa Keny-Guyer, and Russell Brott. Please see the enabling legislation in the City’s code Chapter VI Section 6-4 to learn more.
The primary role of the CDC is to provide recommendations to the Governing Body for the allocation of housing funds. This includes approximately $625,000 in annual federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, as well as funds from the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF). For the last three years, the Governing Body has budgeted general funds in addition to the AHTF’s codified sources of revenue (see SFCC 26-3) to achieve a minimum balance of $3m for expenditure in the upcoming fiscal year.
Every year in November, the CDC considers emerging needs, current programming, and desired outcomes to determine funding priorities for the upcoming program year. In January, a Request for Applications is prepared by staff to reflect these priorities. The City publicly announces the availability of funds, and the application materials are posted on the City’s website. Eligible applicants (as determined by the NM Affordable Housing Act for local funds and the CDBG regulations for federal funds) submit applications and the required supporting documentation for staff to review to determine completeness.
In early March, applicants are invited to present their projects to the CDC, a meeting that is open to the public. Immediately following the presentations, the CDC uses an evaluation system based on weighted criteria to select the projects that best meet its funding priorities. Staff prepares the resulting contracts, drafts the City’s Annual Action Plan, and submits the projects for Governing Body consideration and approval. During the contract term, staff administers the funding contracts, collects and reviews quarterly reports from the grantees of funds, and submits final reports to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the CDBG funds and the NM Mortgage Finance Authority for the uses of local funds or donation of resources.
Additionally, the CDC also provides guidance on the City’s inclusionary zoning requirements (the Santa Fe Homes Program, SFCC 26-1, 26-2, formerly the Housing Opportunity Program). CDC members also have opportunities to discuss and provide guidance on policy recommendations to the Governing Body about affordable housing and other community development issues.