SANTA FE, September 29, 2022 – Last night the City of Santa Fe Governing Body unanimously approved a joint resolution with Santa Fe County to collaborate to address homelessness by securing and stabilizing housing and social services for our most vulnerable residents. The County has passed a similar resolution.
The vision is for public and private partners to collaborate with community providers and advocacy groups to ensure that Santa Fe is a place where homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring, and that access to safe, affordable, and sustainable housing is a reality for all community members.
Mayor Alan Webber says: “The City and County are committed to working together to end chronic homelessness. This resolution sets the agenda for our work moving forward: We’ll develop a by-name list of the people in Santa Fe who need to be housed and we’ll commit the resources to getting them the shelter and support services they need.”
The resolution embraces the principles of the national Built for Zero movement, in which communities assist each other in developing and following evidence-based strategies for reducing and ending homelessness. The City joined Built for Zero in 2019 and the County and foundation partners (Anchorum St. Vincent Foundation, Thornburg Foundation, McCune Charitable Foundation, Frost Foundation, and Santa Fe Community Foundation) have embraced it in what has come to be known as the S3 (Safe, Stable, and Supportive) Santa Fe Housing Initiative.
The resolution commits the City and County to continued partnership and coordination on six key efforts:
PRESERVATION AND PREVENTION: Increase resources and develop strategies to prevent homelessness; increase financial supports, such as the City and County Affordable Housing Trust Funds; and support local regulation and land use policy changes that increase housing stability.
EMERGENCY SHELTER: Create and further develop collective community agreements specific to emergency shelter provision, including expanding options for safe and legal outdoor sleeping spaces and non-congregate shelter, and improving shelter access to housing and supportive service resources.
BUILDINGS/HOUSING UNITS: Quantify the need for additional affordable units, and through new construction, conversion, subsidization, and redevelopment, increase the local affordable housing stock inventory with a goal of adding at least 100-200 units per year.
VOUCHERS: Increase funding for housing vouchers and ensure they can be flexibly utilized in ways that promote equity and housing choice.
SUPPORTIVE SERVICES: Ensure that all interested individuals and families participating in housing programs have high-quality crisis intervention, behavioral healthcare, and other supportive services to maintain safe housing.
SYSTEM INFRASTRUCTURE: Continue development of the community-wide homeless response system and clarify the roles, functions, and authority of each partner.
In order to make progress in these areas, future funding and policy decisions will be required. At this time, the resolution simply commits to the joint goals and has no fiscal impact.