Where: Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico

Problem: The Santo Domingo Reservation in north central New Mexico lacks housing

Solution: Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority (SDTHA) members graduated from RCAC’s Tribal Housing Excellence Acad­emy (THE Academy) in 2015 and broke ground on a 41-unit housing project in May 2016

As with many Tribal housing agencies across the nation, SDTHA has struggled to meet the need for affordable, sustainable housing for its members. According to a 2010 assessment, 45 percent of employed Tribal members live below the poverty level, and 46 percent of families pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.

Established in 1995, SDTHA has successfully carried out other development projects, including an 18-unit subdivision, a water and wastewater sys­tem, and three homes for the disabled and elderly. Other completed projects include re-roofing 23 privately owned homes and rehabilitating 14 homes (among 500) in the village area.

In 2014, RCAC and Native Capital Access launched THE Academy, a three-year initiative to increase the variety and volume of housing on Tribal lands. SDTHA was in the first cohort. Applying principles learned during THE Academy sessions, SDTHA plans to build a mix of 100 affordable and work-force housing units which would be culturally appropriate and sustainable.

In 2015, the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority awarded a Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocation to the Tribe for the first 41 units in the 100-unit goal. Applying THE Academy’s lessons in finance leveraging, SDTHA also accessed HOME, New Mexico Housing Trust Funds, Primero Loan Fund, Ventana Fund, Native Capital Access, Federal Home Loan Bank AHP and Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) funds for the project.

On May 25, 2016, the Tribe celebrated the groundbreaking. The project is a mix of single- and two-story homes. The project reflects the Tribe’s historical preference for density, shared community spaces and proximity to other Tribal amenities, such as a 3,000-square foot community center and daycare, a computer lab, a playground, and a basketball court are in the project’s master plan.

SDTHA expects to complete the project by summer 2017.