February 18, 2020

Checking in on Enterprise’s Community Land Trust Initiative – February 2020

As Community Land Trusts (CLTs) continue to gain traction across the country, Enterprise is proud to support affordable housing preservation through this innovative model of community ownership through grant funding, information sharing, and more. We are delighted to share updates on outcomes from our support of CLTs in New York State. 

Grant Funding

In 2017, Enterprise launched a $4.2 million grant program to directly fund the development activities of six CLTs throughout New York State and a CLT Learning Exchange designed for nine community-based organizations to collaborate and share ideas and resources. The six CLTs invested funds directly into projects, staffing, and operations. 

Enterprise recently shared a report highlighting achievements and unique organizational structures developed over the last two years from the first round of grant recipients:    

  • 453 homes across 70 buildings will be permanently affordable
  • 34 jobs created or supported
  • $4.2 million in Enterprise funding leveraged into a $63 million investment for permanent affordable housing in NYC, Long Island, and Albany 

To build on this success, in October 2019, Enterprise announced the second round of CLT funding, deploying nearly $8 million to support 11 CLTs throughout New York State (NYC, Long Island, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Schenectady, Broome, and Ithaca) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to hire staff to support and coordinate CLT activities. The 11 diverse CLTs ranges in size and age, from coalitions exploring and coordinating the creation of a CLT, to newly created CLTs looking to expand, to established CLTs with sizable portfolios working on innovative projects with local partners. 

Sharing Lessons Learned

In November 2019, Enterprise moderated a panel discussion, bringing together representatives from CLTs that received funding along with partners from across the industry. Our panel of CLT experts, Albany CLT, Interboro CLT, Cooper Square CLT, New Economy Project/New York Community Land Initiative, Long Island Partnership CLT, and Uniondale CLT candidly shared some of their success, challenges and lessons learned with an audience of community development and affordable housing professionals. Key takeaways included the importance of collaboration and relationship building in order to share expertise and leverage limited resources, as well as tailoring messaging and materials for various stakeholders, such as elected officials, residents, and funders, to effectively build support for CLT activities in communities.

Additionally, in late December 2018, Enterprise, in partnership with the members of the Interboro CLT and Long Island Partnership CLT, co-convened a discussion with lenders, including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and private banks to discuss opportunities for working with CLTs to increase and sustain affordable homeownership opportunities. Throughout the discussion, two primary themes surfaced as opportunities for creative lending solutions – familiarity with customized ground leases that reflect individual project priorities serving local communities and mitigants in the event of homeowner mortgage defaults on CLT land. Lenders interested in working with homeowners on CLT land are advised to work with the CLTs to customize their approaches and address concerns as they surface.

We look forward to supporting the CLTs through our second round of funding and continuing to facilitate collaboration and best practice sharing.

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