Editorial

Things to watch in 2019: Affordable housing needs

Taos News editorial team
Posted 1/11/19

How bad is the lack of affordable housing in Taos? Real bad.

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Editorial

Things to watch in 2019: Affordable housing needs

Posted

How bad is the lack of affordable housing in Taos? Real bad.

Take, for example, a 2010 study that looked at four years’ worth of housing data. It found only 5 percent of working adults in town could afford the median cost of a Taos home then. The situation is likely worse now.

The same study, commissioned by the Town of Taos and University of New Mexico-Taos, showed more than a fourth of the town’s working class folks lived in mobile homes, the most affordable option on the market.

The wait list is long to get into the town’s few hundred low-rent houses. The high cost of housing is driven by second home buyers and part-time residents. But the town’s economy is driven by tourism and recreation, and workers those industries need can’t find an affordable place to live.

The problem is likely to get worse, according to the analysts. “In all scenarios, the demand for low-income housing will continue to grow,” said the study by the UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Among the few builders who have tackled the lack of affordable housing is Stephen Crozier of Tierra Realty Trust. Crozier has developed or renovated three affordable housing projects creating more than 150 units. Crozier has another affordable housing project in the works off Salazar and Herdner roads called Ochenta Housing.

Another developer is looking at building some affordable housing near the Youth and Family Center.

It will take hundreds more affordable units to address the crisis.

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