Housing News Network, July 2005
Vol. 21, No. 2
1 – The CLT Model-A Tool for Permanently Affordable Housing and Wealth Generation
11 – Green Building
15 – Housing Authorities and Advocates Must Join Together to Fight for Housing Assistance for the Most Needy
16 – Success Story – Preserving Affordable Housing: The Success Story of Villa Maria
18 – Revitalizing a Winter Park Neighborhood: Success Story of Hannibal Square Community Land Trust
21 – Preserving Mobile Home Parks: Don’t Forget “Who Brought You To The Dance”
28 – SHIP Clips
From the Editor
The gap between wealth and poverty is growing in the U.S., because policies to stabilize the lives of the poor and people of color do not focus on long-term solutions. Our economy is unstable, in an inflationary spiral that continues to raise the cost of basic goods, including food, gasoline, medicine and health care. Most depressing is the lack of affordable housing for the poor, working and unemployed, and seniors with limited retirement income. The severity of the shortage of affordable housing has multiplied in recent years. Barbara Ehrenreich demonstrated the stark reality of the situation facing low-income wage earners in her book Nickel and Dimed in America. She found from personal experience that in today’s America, two incomes are required in order to live “indoors,” let alone reside in safe, adequate housing. Insufficient affordable housing is being developed to fulfill the need, and most that is developed remains affordable only during the terms of the initial financing, due to relatively short-term subsidies, after which time it reverts to market rates. As a result, over the longer term, public affordable housing resources actually aid gentrification, eventually displacing the very people they were meant to assist.
The CLT Model
Thirty-eight years ago, Bob Swann and Ralph Borsodi developed the Community Land Trust model, arising from their concerns related to poverty and land tenure. The model, drawn from the Indian gramdan land reform movement, was conceived as a democraticallycontrolled institution that would hold land for the common good of any community, while making it available to individuals within the community through long-term leases. Over the years, the model has evolved and been applied primarily to the development of permanently affordable housing within intentional communities and more broadly in urban, suburban and rural communities across the country. Terms within the ground lease balance community interests with those of the individual, providing an opportunity for lower-income people to earn equity, while limiting appreciation to ensure affordability for future lower income homebuyers.