A look at a solution to the affordable housing crisis

ORLANDO, Florida – The affordable housing crisis is getting worse by the day, with housing supply at its lowest level and rents reaching record highs, but there are people, projects and organizations dedicated to tackling the crisis.

One solution to the affordable housing problem that is currently gaining popularity is community land trusts, an idea that will be explored in more detail in Episode 2 of Graham Media Group’s digital solutions-based newsletter, “Solutionaries”.

[READ MORE: A $739 mortgage payment in Winter Park? Here’s where we found affordable housing]

In the meantime, let’s take a look at how they work and how they make a difference.

What is a CLT?

Land trusts are formed and managed by non-profit organizations. This non-profit organization acquires land through donation, surplus from local governments or purchase through grants. Once the land is acquired, the association builds houses for low to moderate income families.

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From there, a family or individual buys one of the houses that are on the land owned by the CLT, which is more affordable because the buyer only buys the house, not the land they are on. find. Basically, CLTs take the cost of land out of the equation.

To simplify, here is an example:

If a typical house in the area sells for $ 300,000 but the land is worth $ 100,000, the buyer need only qualify for a loan of $ 200,000.

To be considered a buyer, families or individuals must qualify. Community land trusts are designed for working families earning 80% of the median income.

According to GroundedSolutions.org, landlords lease the land to the community land trust under a long-term renewable lease, often for 99 years. The owners also agree to later sell the house at a restricted price to help maintain affordability.

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CLT in Central Florida

Can Community Land Trusts Completely Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis? No, nothing can do it, but they are one of the many solutions to the national problem.

The good news is that more and more CLTs are popping up across the country, including big cities like Houston and Jacksonville. According to Grounded Solutions, there are over 275 CLTs in the United States and they are increasing as the affordable housing crisis worsens.

Two CLTs currently operate in Central Florida: Hannibal Square Community Land Trust in Winter Park and Apopka and the Central Florida Foundation.

You can read more about community land trusts in Florida, including information on how to set one up, here.


“Solutionaries” is a new digital show that focuses on solution-based journalism.

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Episode 2, which discusses affordable housing and shines a light on those working to resolve the crisis, releases September 20.

You can watch Episode 1, “The Police in America,” here.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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Pia Miller

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