Health, Healing, and Housing in Santa Fe: Community Land Trusts, Midtown, and a Vision for Post-Pandemic Development

September 2020

Research brief in collaboration with Chainbreaker Collective on the health impacts of developing a Community Land Trust to stabilize housing in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Santa Fe has undergone significant gentrification in recent years, and is currently facing a major economic crisis and growing housing instability due to COVID-19. Key measures are needed to ensure that all residents are able to stay in their homes — particularly low-income residents of color, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic because of systemic racism.

To be a city that truly promotes health and wellness, Santa Fe needs to ensure that residents have access to affordable, healthy, and safe housing. Stable and affordable housing supports the well-being of children and families, and contributes to community cohesion and stability — all of which are key to ensure that all residents thrive. Community Lands Trusts offer a more equitable approach model for land development in Santa Fe: research has found that both housing affordability and community stability can be achieved through a Community Land Trust model of land development.

Santa Fe is now in a pivotal moment, with the development of the city-owned Midtown campus property. A Community Land Trust model of development for Midtown offers an opportunity to create new affordable housing options to support stability for all Santa Feans. This research brief highlights the health benefits of a Community Land Trust as a sustainable, affordable housing model that can limit gentrification and displacement, weather economic trends, and help support recovery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic for a healthy Santa Fe.

Based on this evidence, we recommend the City of Santa Fe:
  • Continue housing supportive services in Midtown beyond the COVID-19 recovery period
  • Explore the possibilities of Community Land Trusts to stabilize housing in Santa Fe
  • Approach the development of the Midtown Campus with a Truth and Reconciliation lens


Open the research brief