- Community Land Trusts (CLTs) establish long-term affordable housing and enable residents with low to moderate incomes to become homeowners. CLTs maintain ownership of their acquired land, allowing them to create permanently affordable housing. Even when houses are sold or rented, the original affordable price of the house stays the same. CLTs are thus able to ensure that homes are permanently affordable, even when market rate development and gentrification cause other homes in the same area to become unaffordable, pricing people out of the market.
- CLT’s are also community based organizations. They are committed to the community members they serve, and are often involved in more than just affordable housing work. Partnerships with local organizations allow CLT’s to develop the entire community, not just the houses they purchase. Food security, youth employment opportunities, and education are just a few ways that CLT’s offer a wide range of services to their community members. In this way, CLT’s deliver both permanent affordable housing and community transformations.
As many cities continue to feel the effects of gentrification and market rate development, CLTs are committed to establishing stable, affordable housing for residents experiencing increasing housing prices. The investment CLTs make in housing can build wealth in a neighborhood, leading to other positive changes in the community. Community members serving on the CLT know what changes the community wants, preventing outsiders from making the decisions.
- Only members can vote, but all are welcome to attend!
- To qualify as a member, you must live within the City of Rochester and meet 2 of the following 3 requirements:
- 1) Have attended at least 4 CLT meetings in the past 12 months
- 2) Have volunteered on behalf of the CLT at least once in the past 12 months
- 3) Have paid annual dues in the amount of $25
- *If you live on land that is part of the CLT, you are automatically a member!*
City Roots has formed many relationships with local organizations in Rochester since its inception. It continues to work tirelessly with these organizations to bring meaningful, long-lasting change to the communities it serves.
- Peace Village
While evictions and foreclosures are still possible with CLT houses, the process looks a bit different than a non-CLT eviction or foreclosure. The CLT’s mission is to house low and moderate income people, and without a profit motive the CLT is far more willing to figure out a solution when tenants and homeowners are facing difficult times. For instance, during the Covid-19 pandemic the CLT was able to offer rent forgiveness when folks were finding it hard to make ends meet. Even without a global crisis, the CLT always puts people before money.
CLT’s like ours have an excellent track record for having far fewer foreclosed properties than the national average. In addition to this, many CLTs are implementing stewardship activities such as pre-purchase education, prevention of high-risk loans, early detection of and intervention in delinquencies and foreclosure filings, and ongoing support for homeowners after purchase.
The CLT essentially acts as a safety net for renters and homeowners by providing help every step of the way to avoid evictions/foreclosures.
One of the goals of the CLT is to keep housing affordable for low and moderate income people. There is no profit motive, so rent is set based on what the tenant can afford and written into the lease.
Community members control the actions of the CLT, and would not allow an increase in rent that would burden the family renting from the CLT.
In addition to our many partnerships with other community organizations, the CLT is looking to get involved with all things land. This goes beyond just providing affordable housing, it includes things the community wants/needs such as: community gardens, solar farms, mixed-use buildings, parks and playgrounds, etc ir al sitio.
It should be noted that while in theory a CLT like ours could encompass a much larger geographic area than just a neighborhood, we believe the best practice is to focus our efforts within the boundaries of the City of Rochester and in the neighborhoods we are currently working in.
Land Banks are usually public entities that acquire land and use it for future development. Lank banks are often focused on short-term rehabilitation or improvements. Once homes or buildings are repaired, they are usually passed onto private organizations.
Land Trusts are mostly private, nonprofits that also focus on rehabilitation, renovation, and remediation. However, Land Trusts are focused on the long-term acquiring of land, and are heavily community oriented. Their goal is to work with community members and neighborhoods to restore housing and other public entities in the community.
Our members are a crucial part of the organization. They are the ones who make City Root’s mission of community-owned and managed land a reality. There are several ways in which members can be involved in the land trust including: attending meetings, participating in committees, stewarding CLT land and property, voting for our board of directors, volunteering, and more. CLT members are the ones making the decisions that allow the organization to function.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of City Root’s Community Land Trust feel free to reach out to us to learn more!