City Announces Community Land Trust Awards

The Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) has announced awardees for the City’s initial $2.25-million investment in Community Land Trusts (CLTs) for single family homeownership opportunities.

The awardees, announced last night at the monthly Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) Commission public meeting, are:

                        Charm City Land Trust

                        North East Housing Initiative (NEHI) Land Trust, and

                        South Baltimore Community Land Trust

Each Land Trust is being awarded $750,000 for affordable homeownership developments in McElderry Park/Broadway East, Belair Edison, and Curtis Bay.  The funds will support the development of 26 units with an average unit cost of $53,571.

“Equitable community development in our historically redlined neighborhoods is at the top of my agenda,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Community land trusts are one tool to provide permanent affordable housing across our neighborhoods, while helping close the racial wealth gap.”

Under the land trust model, a nonprofit community land trust owns the land and sells the home on the property to qualified buyers at a below-market-rate sales price. The land trust’s ownership ensures that the home will remain affordable for 99 years. When a buyer purchases a home from the land trust, they agree to only sell the home to a low-income household and then split the equity with the land trust.  Community land trusts are community-managed, so this model also keeps homes in the hands of the community, which helps it to carry out its long-term neighborhood vision and residents to build equity.

“These funds will support housing those who are at or below 50% of the area median income,” explained Acting Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy.  “Making quality homeownership a reality for lower-income residents of the city will not only stabilize these residents but will strengthen our neighborhoods.”

“We’ve worked to develop a spending plan for limited public dollars that will yield strong results in support of affordable housing,” said AHTF Commission President David Bowers. “This allocation of funds in support of permanent affordable single-family homes and shared equity is a proud moment for Baltimore.”

“Grounded Solutions is excited to have played a formal role in supporting the Baltimore Affordable Housing Trust Fund’s Community Land Trust Homeownership NOFA awards. Baltimore’s bold $2.25 million investment in creating and expanding permanently affordable homeownership options merits both national attention and replication by other peer cities,” said Grounded Solutions CEO Tony Pickett. “Supporting the work of local nonprofit community land trust organizations ensures community control of land, increases equitable access to homeownership and protects opportunities for families to build wealth for generations to come. Baltimore’s leadership illustrates the path forward to success in closing the racial wealth gap for families of color.”

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