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Posted on Jun 19 2017 in Monthly Meeting

Notes from monthly meeting, 2017-06-19

We’re hanging out at Woodlawn Library now…1907 hours.

WIT Social: With S. Jersey folks, Glassboro, but it’ll probably be better to meet up at a restaurant somewhere. Meet in Glassboro, or Theatre N (Demain). Mark will look into getting this movie shown at Theatre N and we’ll try to meet with TG on July 17 in Swedesboro.

School of Living farm in Cochranville, PA. Doing Sharing Solutions, networking, on July 15. Urban Community Land Trust. Could Wilmington’s Land Bank be that? July 15.

National Gathering in Minneapolis.

Education. Do we know what Transition-worthy classes our local education institutions are teaching? Wilm. U. Green Team…? Del Tech. We can post to the Del Tech site for volunteers. Dan Caspar.

Testardi garden is growing! Strawberries, lettuce, asparagus harvested already. Tomatoes, beans, eggplant, herbs, columbines, celosia, growing. Many churches and schools have started food gardens in the past couple years. There is a movement, implicit. These gardens tend to be underutilized. A common problem. We could explore…recovering food waste from community gardens. Guerilla delivery. Food transport and prep. Field kitchen. People don’t know what food looks like. Ambient food. Mulberry tree near Laura’s new house.

Use NextDoor. Eat good food. Fix your health. In Newark the buses are free. How do we get that? Political questions — political answers. Compostable litter, needs really hot compost.


Urban Community Land Trusts

Affordable Housing, Always: Gentrification is pushing long-term residents out of urban neighborhoods. Can collective land ownership keep prices down permanently?

The idea of community land trusts isn’t a new one. The idea was first popularized in America as part of the civil-rights movement, when a community activist named Robert Swann decided to try and obtain a large piece of land for black sharecroppers to settle and develop. The backers of that land trust took inspiration from the Jewish National Fund, which at the time was buying up land and setting up settlements in Israel, and the Bhoodan Movement in India, which tried to persuade wealthy landowners to give some of their land to the poor.

Despite Swann’s success, the idea didn’t really take off in urban areas in America until the 1980s, when rapidly increasing real-estate prices began shutting many out of homeownership, according to Reinventing Real Estate: The Community Land Trust as a Social Invention in Affordable Housing, by James Meehan. Cities in states such as Massachusetts, California, and New York embraced the idea. The city of Boston even used eminent domain to clear a portion of land for a local land trust. There are currently 243 community land trusts in the country, the largest of which is in Burlington, Vermont, and leases land to about 500 owner-occupied homes.

 Diamond State Community Land Trust

What is a Community Land Trust?

A community land trust (CLT) is a nonprofit, community-based organization that works to provide perpetually affordable home ownership opportunities.

The CLT acquires land and removes it from the speculative, for-profit, real estate market. The CLT then holds the land it owns “in trust” forever for the benefit of the community by ensuring that it will always remain affordable for homebuyers.

This fosters “perpetually affordable” ownership of the home.

CLT’s provide permanently affordable housing by owning the land of a particular property but selling the home on the land to an income-qualified buyer. The homeowner then leases the land from the CLT through a 99-year, renewable ground lease.

The ground lease connects the homeowner to the community and to keeping the house permanently affordable by including a resale formula that determines the home’s CLT sale price and the homeowner’s share of the home’s increased value at the time of sale.

This mechanism enables the retention of the initial investment made in the home, by public and private sources, making it affordable to subsequent, income-qualified buyers.

Formed in 2006 and based in Dover, we are the nation’s first statewide community land trust.

We make use of the leasehold form of home ownership to provide homes that are secure and inheritable, as well as affordable upon resale to the next home buying family.

Our home owners are CLT members and comprise one-third of our board of directors.

Our mission:

To strengthen Delaware communities
by creating and stewarding forever affordable housing
while promoting the sustainable use of the land.