Joining the Movement
The community land trust (CLT) model of affordable housing
may be new to North Dakota, but it has been an active, effective model throughout
other parts of the country for over thirty years.
Like many housing programs established during the mid-20th Century, the CLT model
was born out of a search for creative and innovative ways to address the rising
costs of housing, limited land, and the growing number of abandoned or substandard
buildings in communities affecting the overall quality of housing stock.
In 2010, approximately 250 CLTs were active in 44 states across the country. CLTs
are not at all limited to metropolitan areas; in fact, many are being created or
are already active in communities similar in size, or smaller, than Grand Forks.
GFCLT has many common characteristics with CLTs across the country, including:
- Provision of access to land and housing to people who are otherwise unable to afford
- On average, CLT homeowners earn around 40% of the area median
- Balanced approach to homeownership allowing CLTs to own land and lease it for a
nominal fee, reducing the overall home price for families who own homes on the land
- CLTs maintain ownership of the land on which a CLT home sits.
This allows for an initial reduction in price by subtracting the value of the land
from the market-value of the home. Additional subsidy will then be added according
to a family’s income and the purchase price they can afford, as determined by GFCLT.
- Commitment to the perpetual affordability of housing in the community in which we
- Empowerment of homeowners and community members, who make up a minimum of 1/3 of
each CLT board of directors, and ensure CLT homeowners maintain an active voice
in CLT governance.
- Benefits to homeowners including the security of owning your own home and use of
land much like a market-rate homeowner, combined with the protection of a CLT providing
homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, and a guaranteed sale when homeowners
choose to move.
- When a CLT homeowner decides to move they are required to sell
their home to another CLT-qualified homebuyer. GFCLT will maintain a waiting list
of eligible families from which the next buyer can be chosen. If no families are
available on the waiting list, GFCLT will purchase the home and retain ownership
until a new CLT-qualified family is ready to buy. This structure offers a guaranteed
sale, allowing CLT homeowners to move on to new ventures without the fear of not
being able to sell their home.
- Equity production for homeowners partnered with preservation of affordability for
future buyers, providing the opportunity for wealth creation to each subsequent
- In a recent study over 90% of CLT families remained in their
homes for at least 5 years. Of these families, over 70% went on to purchase owner-occupied,
- A sustainable model that only requires subsidy once rather than new subsidy upon
- Because CLT homeowners are required to follow a resale formula,
when they decide to move their home will be resold at a price that appreciates per
their initial investment rather than the full market-value, thus appreciation is
reduced and homes remain affordable in perpetuity.
Want to learn more about GFCLT's approach to community land trust homeownership?
Check out our Homebuyer Opportunities.