THE CLT MODEL
The Community Land Trust (CLT) Model is designed to preserve affordable housing in perpetuity, one generation after the next. The CLT acquires land and serves as the permanent repository and steward for the residences that are built upon it. Unlike traditional affordable housing strategies, the land is never resold, but is held forever in trust and works for both homeownership and rental strategies.
In CLT homeownership, ownership of the land is separated from ownership of the housing. This separation reduces the purchase price for buyers, allowing more families to afford a home, while providing the permanence and security of traditional homeownership. A 99-year renewable ground lease between the homebuyer and South Florida CLT ensures that when the house is sold, it goes to another deserving family, and that the appreciation in property value is shared between the land trust and individual.
By safeguarding the structural integrity of the homes and the residential security of the residents, the CLT remains permanently involved. When the real estate market is booming, the trust maintains affordability, and when the market falls it prevents homes from falling into disrepair or foreclosure.
A significant feature offered by the CLT Model is that although a household must be income-eligible to initially qualify, if the household income grows at a later time, the homeowner may remain in their home. The trust aims to ensure permanently affordable housing, not permanently eligible people.
The CLT model works similarly for rental properties in that the cost of housing is reduces and units are reserved as permanently affordable, extending the affordability far past traditional program requirements.