Community land trusts share many similarities with other home ownership programs. However, community land trusts ensure that housing is set aside for the public benefit, forever.
The CLT partners with a low income family to share the cost of purchasing a home.
This might mean the CLT offers the family a cash down payment assistance grant to purchase a home. Or, the CLT might rehabilitate a home in need of repair, then sell it to a family for a below-market price.
The family has lowered their monthly housing costs, and they also enjoy the essential benefits of homeownership (lifetime security, building equity in their home, and a legacy for their descendants), except…
…if they need to move, they can only sell the home back to the CLT, and only for an affordable price.
The CLT sells the home to another low income family in need of housing, for an affordable price.
This new family now has the essential benefits of home ownership, as in Step 1: lifetime security, building equity in their home, and a legacy for their descendants.
However, they also agree to the resale conditions of Step 2: if they ever need to move, they can only sell the home back to the CLT, and only for an affordable price. And if the family does sell the home, the CLT will sell it to a new low income family in need of housing, repeating Step 3.
In this way, the home is reserved for affordable housing, forever.
No matter what happens, the home is reserved forever for low income home ownership, or something else that serves the common good.
Even if the home needs to be demolished, any building that replaces it on that parcel of land will be reserved for the common good.