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Community Land Trusts Help Provide Affordable Housing

Digested from “Preserving Affordable Housing With Community Land Trusts”
Yardi (8/12/15) Rascón, Erica

There are 243 community land trusts (CLTs) — nonprofit organizations that own and manage properties and land for residential and agricultural use to ensure the availability of affordable housing — operating in the United States. CLTs can help keep lower-income people from being displaced by gentrification by purchasing land and creating affordable fixed-rate leases for residents. Residents can build equity in their homes, but the CLT owns the homes and ensures that they cannot be sold for market value. 

To allow CLTs to operate, states must make land-trust properties tax-free or appropriate property tax assessments, raise funds for affordable housing, and promote CLT-friendly loan options. Lending was a large deterrent after interest in CLTs spiked in the 1980s, as banks lacked guidance on land loans that excluded property. 

Currently, 33 states have supportive policies in place for CLTs. Texas is one and has seen increased interest in this arena as a result of gentrification in East Austin. And more communities are seeking this type of affordable-housing assistance

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