Community Land Trusts Crucial in Today's Economy
Most people know what a land trust is: a nonprofit organization that protects important places for the benefit of everyone. But what about a community land trust? Though their name is quite similar, these organizations fill a very different niche than conservation-oriented trusts.
The goal of a community land trust is to ensure that moderately priced housing is available in urban areas in perpetuity. The trusts buy up land and homes and resell only the improvements, keeping title to the land and leasing it to the homeowner for a nominal fee. This arrangement allows community land trusts to help families who otherwise would be locked out of homeownership begin to build equity — while at the same time keeping a lid on the cost to future owners.
One of the nation’s leading community land trusts is right here in Vermont. The Champlain Housing Trust was recently featured in Yes! magazine. Take a look to learn more about this innovative — and home-grown — model for providing everyone access to a decent home.