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Community land trusts are a proven model for communities to control land and development.

Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit organizations governed by a board of CLT residents, community residents and public representatives that provide lasting community assets and shared equity homeownership opportunities for families and communities. CLTs develop rural and urban agriculture projects, commercial spaces to serve local communities, affordable rental and cooperative housing projects, and conserve land or urban green spaces. However, the heart of their work is the creation homes that remain permanently affordable, providing successful homeownership opportunities for generations of lower income families.

There are over 225 community land trusts in the United States.

A typical community land trust for affordable housing works like this:

  • A family or individual purchases a house that sits on land owned by the community land trust.

  • The purchase price is more affordable because the homeowner is only buying the house, not the land.

  • The homeowners lease the land from the community land trust in a long-term (often 99-year), renewable lease.

  • The homeowners agree to sell the home at a restricted price to keep it affordable in perpetuity, but they may be able to realize appreciation from improvements they make while they live in the house.

IECLT plans to utilize the proved CLT model to provide homeownership opportunities to households who would not otherwise be able to afford it.  Housing sales prices in the Inland Empire remain out of reach for many, and will undoubtedly continue to rise at a pace inconsistent with wages for the working class.

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