Our help. Your Home.

About Us Staff

Sharron Welsh
Executive Director

Sharron has over thirty-five years of direct experience in housing and has worked for such entities as San Diego County, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the San Diego Housing Commission. Sharron came to New Mexico in 1992 as the Housing Trust’s first employee. Since then she has been instrumental in the creation of numerous housing programs and the growth of the organization into one of the most distinguished and successful housing non-profits in the county. In her spare time Sharron enjoys exploring archaeological sites and spending time with her beloved dog, Baby.

Joyce Arellano
Program Manager, HOPWA and Shelter Plus Care/Housing Counselor

Joyce was born and raised in Santa Fe. Previously, she worked with the Special Needs Housing Programs and as a Housing Counselor for six years at the Housing Trust. She re-joined The Housing Trust in January of 2012. She is a Certified HQS Inspector and the first of only two people to be certified in HOPWA Management in New Mexico. She has twenty plus years of experience in the real estate title business and her knowledge as a Title Examiner and Researcher is an asset to the organization and our clients. Joyce enjoys camping and spending time with family, friends and her dog.

Ron Chavez
Housing, HECM and Post-Purchase Counselor

Ron has over seven years experience as a housing counselor with the Housing Trust, and eleven years in the field. With over eighteen years of total lending experience, he offers expert advice for potential homeowners. Ron is also an AARP Certified Reverse Mortgage Counselor to assist seniors, and manages the Home Buyer Training program.

Maria Ortiz
Certified Housing Counselor and Trainer

Maria has been a Housing Counselor at the Housing Trust since 2006. Maria grew up in a small town in Northern Texas. She moved to Santa Fe in 1994. About eight years ago Maria was a client of the Housing Trust. As a first-time homebuyer, the Housing Trust helped her attain her dream of home ownership. Before working at the Housing Trust, Maria worked for the Santa Fe Public Schools as a bilingual teaching assistant and acquired eight years experience working for Century Bank. When not at work, Maria enjoys dancing and being surrounded by family and friends.

Shannon Quintana
Administrative Assistant

Shannon joined the Housing Trust family in July of 2012. Before, she had worked with the Housing Trust on a development project through her previous employer. In her position, she is one of the first contacts for people visiting our office. Shannon is a local and understands how hard it is to find “affordable” housing in Santa Fe. The Housing Trust has helped many, many families obtain their dreams of home ownership she is glad to be an integral part of that experience.

Denise Benavidez
Homebuying Servicing, Counseling & Lending Manager

Denise started with the Housing Trust in August of 2016. She brings over 35 years of banking, compliance, documentation and operational experience.  Previous to the Housing Trust, she worked for Valley National Bank as Vice President Credit Administrator, Loan Operation Manager and Security Officer, Century Bank Vice President Quality Control Documentation Manager in addition to many other roles and titles.  She was born and raised in beautiful Northern New Mexico and is excited to work together with the counseling team to fulfill the Home Ownership Dreams of all clients.

Eric Westlake

Eric brings over twenty-five years of finance and accounting experience with a variety of companies including American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, The Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He spent eight years serving as the CFO for Catholic Charities and prior to joining the Housing Trust he served as interim CFO for the New Mexico Finance Authority. He holds a BA in mathematics from UCLA and a MBA in finance and marketing from USC. Away from the Housing Trust Eric enjoys walking with his wife and rescue dog as well as writing.

Zach Thomas
Land Use and Development Director

Zach Thomas joined the Santa Fe Community Housing Trust in September 2016. He has extensive experience in all facets of land use and land entitlement, development, project management, regulatory compliance, and program and policy development in California and New Mexico. His proven success in project management and in fostering trust within the local development community and stakeholder groups serve to bolster the Housing Trust’s network of industry participants that has helped build the organization into a premier developer of affordable housing within the greater Santa Fe Community. In his free time, Zach enjoys exploring the local art, music and culinary scenes.

Michael Smith
HOPWA Consultant

Since moving to Santa Fe from New York City in 1992, Michael has been involved with many local and statewide AIDS Service Organizations. Michael was one of the founders of the Northern New Mexico People Living with AIDS Coalition and served as its Executive Director for two years. Michael has also served on the Santa Fe CARES Board of Directors, HIV-Coordinating Council’s Steering Committee, Governor’s AIDS Task Force, and still serves on the Southwest CARE Clinic’s Community Task Force/Advisory Board and AID & Comfort Board of Director. Michael is the author of the Phoenix Rising HIV/AIDS Re-entry Resource Guide that helps individuals with HIV/AIDS to address return to work and re-entry issues and to re-engage in life. In his spare time Michael enjoys traveling and ballroom dance.

Troy Dunn
Housing Counselor

Troy T. Dunn just started working for The Housing Trust. He has over 10 years’ experience in customer service. Troy ran a private security firm here in Santa Fe for 7 years. In 2014 he joined LANB’s operation team side of the bank handling wire transfers and foreign currency. Shortly after he joined the Wealth Strategies team in December 2014 and his primary responsibilities include the day-to- day management of trust and estate accounts, In addition to his daily tasks Troy is also currently advancing his professional education by pursuing a dual degree. Some of Troy’s hobbies include traveling and trying new foods. Troy is also a professional arm-wrestler. Both Troy and his wife are native New Mexicans.

James Hicks
Single Family and Land Development

Tierra Contenta Corporation and The Housing Trust have a synergistic relationship formed by the common mission of providing access to affordable housing for Santa Fe residents. The Housing Trust benefits from the expertise offered by Tierra Contenta Corporation’s staff members and the continued provision of affordable building tracts for builders constructing affordably priced homes, including The Housing Trust. The symbiosis of The Housing Trust and the Tierra Contenta Corporation has proven to be instrumental in keeping the largest planned community in Santa Fe alive and able to carry on with its founders’ mission.

Peggy Vasquez
Administrative Assistant

Peggy Vasquez has been an employee of the Housing Trust since 1999. Prior to the Housing Trust she was a Customer Service Relations Manager for BT Housing Inc. and the Administrative Assistant for Tierra Contenta.   Familiar with property development, construction, sales, closing and the lending processes, Peggy handles a variety of tasks including assisting the Development Team, and the revision of files for compliance and documentation. Peggy’s organizational skills and positive, supportive attitude ensures effective customer relations for those looking to purchase a home through the Housing Trust, and plays a key role in the daily success of the Housing Trust and it’s customers.