At its core, the Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative's (ALTC) mission is focused on creating and preserving permanent affordable housing, supporting community development and neighborhood preservation. Historically, neighborhood revitalization has struggled to create strategies linked to a community’s needs at different stages of its lifecycle. CLTs however, have all the effective tools required in both down-market and up-market cycles.
The ALTC was created when more than 30 public, private, nonprofit and community organizations convened to explore the feasibility of developing CLT’s in neighborhoods at risk of displacement due to the Beltline.The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the most comprehensive economic development efforts in the city’s history. One of the outcomes of this level of investment will be to attract private investment to BeltLine neighborhoods. While in many ways this will be a boon for those, history tells us that it is also likely to lead to speculation, gentrification and displacement. However, unlike most large-scale urban redevelopment projects, the organizations behind the Atlanta BeltLine are committed to addressing issues of gentrification at the front-end of the process. To this end, in the fall of 2008, the seeds of the (ALTC) were born.
HOW CLTs WORK:
CLTs utilize the shared equity home ownership model to help low and moderate income households attain—and retain— long term affordable homeownership. CLTs own the land where homes are located. Homeowners purchase only the improvements (homes), while paying a modest monthly fee to lease the underlying land from the CLT. Therefore, homeowners carry a significantly lower mortgage than if they had bought both the home and land in the conventional market. To ensure permanent affordability of the home, a CLT homeowner agrees to resale restrictions which limit the resale price of the home. Furthermore, to promote successful homeownership and prevent foreclosures, the CLT acts as the long-term steward for the home supporting the owners with pre-purchase and post-purchase guidance, monitoring, and the promotion of sound maintenance.
Currently, ALTC is focusing on the formation of 2 neighborhood CLTs, one in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Pittsburgh and one in the historic neighborhood of Reynoldstown. These 2 local CLTs in formation represent the neighborhood life-cycle principle. Pittsburgh is a blighted BeltLine neighborhood, with 44% foreclosure and more than half of the existing houses are currently vacant, abandoned and in some state of disrepair. Neighborhood leaders are looking to the CLT model to reverse the trend. Reynoldstown is a historic neighborhood with a strong housing market and rising home values. Neighborhood leaders there are looking to the CLT model to act as a hedge against the gentrification that threatens to displace long-time residents. Both Pittsburgh and Reynoldstown have strong CDCs (Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association –(PCIA) and Resources for Residents and Communities (RRC), respectively) that are actively engaged in and supportive of their neighborhoods and are working on developing a CLT program. ALTC’s technical assistance provides both PCIA and RRC the capacity to build long term CLT affordable housing and the guidance for choosing a sustainable resale formula and developing stewardship policies and procedures in order to monitor and support homeowners throughout their tenure in the homes, from pre-purchase to ownership and maintenance to future resales.
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