Greensboro’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department is considering ways to address the city’s lack of affordable housing. Community land trusts (CLTs) free up existing properties — vacant, tax delinquent, abandoned — where taxes and repair costs are worth more than the properties themselves.

After acquiring the property, the nonprofit facilitates the rehab or new construction, sets an affordable sales price, finds qualified buyers who are approved for mortgages, and provides supportive services. The CLT sells the structure but continues to own the land.

Councilmember Sharon Hightower says she sees this program as a two-fold effort.

"The land trust is one of those that I see as a transitional type of option where you start out owning just the building, but you don’t own the land," says Hightower. "But it’s also a way we utilize this land that we’ve had that has sat dormant."

When the new owners eventually move on, the CLT sets an affordable sales price, and allows the owner to recoup their original sales price as well as some of the equity in the home. This ensures the unit remains affordable for future generations.

Earlier this month, the city held CLT conversations between lenders, Greensboro residents, and community partners. 

If the program is adopted, the initial focus areas for redevelopment include Eastside Park, Ole Asheboro, and Willow Oaks.  

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