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What can the throbbing brain tell me about Community land trusts?

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
There's a potentail project that we have coming down the pipe at my internship that involves affordable housing, and ways to keep it affordable. I've a bit of reasearch on CLT's already, but i wanna know what the throbbing brain here has to say about it. Spit it out!
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Most of what I know about CLT's I learned from Google.

When I lived in Burlington Vermont, I was vaguely aware of one that operated there .
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Yeah, that's where I've found most of the stuff I've read so far. I was hoping there'd be someone here with direct experience.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
What I'm after are potentail development pitfalls. What barriers were need to be overcome? Community ideas of what affordable housing was, town Gov't, were there design issues to overcome, or building codes that were difficult to reach? Was it new construction or rehab?. How was this type of development encouraged? Were business' behind it? Was there community support for the refurbishment of a given area?

The north camdem stuff looks like a good plan from what I've read so far. Everything I've found so far has been positive, but I'm also looking for negative aspects, just to be fair.
 

ecofem

Cyburbian
Messages
206
Points
9
Try The Land Trust Alliance Website . Always a great source of info and a wonderful annual conference to attend.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
martini said:
What I'm after are potentail development pitfalls. What barriers were need to be overcome? Community ideas of what affordable housing was, town Gov't, were there design issues to overcome, or building codes that were difficult to reach? Was it new construction or rehab?. How was this type of development encouraged? Were business' behind it? Was there community support for the refurbishment of a given area?

The north camdem stuff looks like a good plan from what I've read so far. Everything I've found so far has been positive, but I'm also looking for negative aspects, just to be fair.


The only negative things i could say about north camden is that resident participation is light. There are a few committed people but a lot of the residents seem like they're just biding their time as they build equity so they can move out of Camden and get a house in the suburbs.

but, again, this is a landtrust built more out of economic necessity than any form of utopian vision.

Also, the North Camden Community Builders went under. They built a few new houses but they were mostly rehabs and they insisted on doing it right on rebuilding houses that would last and not externalize the costs on to the new families.

It just turned out that doing quality work with quality materials and charging below market rates doesn't add up.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,026
Points
58
jresta said:
It just turned out that doing quality work with quality materials and charging below market rates doesn't add up.

Dang!

That's discouraging!
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Just to clarify -

The land trust - NCLT and the builders - NCCB were two seperate non-profits that were partnered. NCLT secured the funding and the property and paid NCCB to do the rehabs. NCCB was dedicated to hiring and training people from North Camden - the poorest neighborhood in the second poorest city in the country - while paying a living wage which in the Philly metro area turns out to be about $11.62 an hour.

There are a lot of corners they could've cut in construction, especially with the rehabs, that would've turned into huge headaches later for the struggling families that took on the leases.

A major contributing factor to the cash flow issue is that initially NCLT would borrow the money from the Reinvestment Fund which is more or less like a non-profit mortgage company. The stipulation being that they would have to pay the loan in full by 5 years. In the 4th year NCLT would go shopping for conventional mortgages at a much higher interest rate. Most banks won't fund these projects at all and those that will won't fund them from the inception.

A lot of needed capital was lost to the banks in the form of fees and extra interest. This is capital that NCLT couldn't offer toward rehabs that NCCB was obliged to take on.
 
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