Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

SFPS To Help Its Teachers Buy Homes.(Journal North)

Byline: Angela Turner Journal Staff Writer

Mona Martin faces the same dilemma as many of her colleagues in the Santa Fe Public Schools district.

Should she continue at a job she loves or should she follow the money?

"I think all teachers in Santa Fe are really dedicated," said Martin, a Santa Fe High School special education teacher. "Otherwise, they wouldn't be here."

Fortunately for Martin, her modest teacher's salary buckled by a car note, rent, student loans and utilities may not block her dream of owning a home in Santa Fe.

The district has developed a program to provide loans for teachers who want to buy homes in Santa Fe.

The Teacherwise program is a partnership between Santa Fe Public Schools and Homewise, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing individuals and families with opportunities for affordable housing.

The district has $1 million available to help teachers with the down payments and closing costs of a house, said Susan Bower, Homewise community outreach coordinator.

The teachers can borrow up to $20,000 and will only have to pay back the loans if they sell the homes, she said. …

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