The Indianapolis Community Land Trust (CLT) will empower Black, Brown, and low-income residents to use land and housing to build community wealth, self-reliance and self-determination. The CLT will provide permanently affordable housing and enable residents to take control of their living environments. The project has been initiated by the Kheprw Institute, a community empowerment organization that has been organizing a city-wide coalition of residents and partner organizations for the past four years to create the CLT. Thanks to funding from the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative, the CLT is set to launch at the end of 2023.
For more details about the Indianapolis CLT, including process, vision & goals, and budget, click here
WFYI: As Housing in Indianapolis Becomes Unaffordable, Community Leaders Eye a Solution - Community Land Trusts
Check out this article by WYFI detailing the history of housing insecurity and efforts of local organizers to create a community land trust in Indianapolis.
History of the First CLTThe first Community Land Trust was started as a part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by New Communities Inc. in Albany, GA. As Black farmers and share croppers began to exercise their right to vote many were evicted from their land and had nowhere to go. New Communities Inc. purchased over 5,700 acres of farmland to provide a place to go and grow self-reliance and self-determination. Click here for more of their story and click the video to watch a clip from The Arc of Justice.
Houston CLT and Grounded Solutions Community Conversation
November 18, 2022
- Dr. Ashley Allen, Houston Community Land Trust (https://www.houstonclt.org/)
- Jason Webb, Grounded Solutions (https://groundedsolutions.org/)
We talked about about Community Land Trusts (CLTs) and Indy's first CLT is being organized by Kheprw Institute and the Homes for All Indy City-Wide Coalition with support from the City of Indianapolis.
Dr. Ashley Paige Allen serves as the Executive Director of the Houston Community Land Trust. Ashley's experience as a homeless youth is what ignited her passion to help increase housing accessibility and affordability for those that need it most.
Jason Webb is the technical assistance lead for Grounded Solutions and has over 30 years of experience in community organizing and revitalization. He assists with exploring, adopting, and implementing housing policies and programs with lasting affordability that advance racial equity and inclusion.
CLT 101 ONLINE TRAININGOn December 15, 2022 Jason Webb of Grounded Solutions led a Community Land Trust 101 workshop with 50 Indianapolis community members interested in learning more about CLTs and how to get involved.Click the video on the left to take the training yourself online!
examples of community land trusts
City of Lakes CLTCity of Lakes CLT is the second largest CLT in the country. We were fortunate to visit them in September 2022 for the Midwest CLT Conference which they helped host. They’ve been around for over 20 years and have a diversity of programs for homeownership including a Homebuyer Initiated Program, where residents can purchase a property for sale on the regular market and the CLT provides up to $58k to reduce the cost to the homebuyer and $20k in rehab/repair funds in exchange for putting the home in the CLT. They also work with homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes to either foreclosure, tax forfeiture or deferred maintenance, often seniors on fixed incomes with their Project Sustained Legacy.
Square One VillagesWe got the opportunity to talk to Andrew Heben, Square One’s program director after coming across the website they make focus on The Village Model which focuses on building villages of small homes with with shared amenities and a focus on relationship building and cooperative and CLT home ownership. They are based in Eugene, Oregon and have supported the creation of several villages the first of which was Opportunity Village Eugene which is a transitional village for individuals and family’s without homes. They have gone on to focus more on permanent communities like Emerald Village with many of the same cooperative and community principles (click to video to hear the story).
Houston CLTWe’ve had the pleasure of talking to Ashley Allen several times on zoom and in person when she was in Indianapolis in the Spring of 2022 for the graduation of a former student. She’s got a powerful personal story that drives her passion for working on housing (click to watch the video). Houston CLT was started by the City of Houston and then became an independent non-profit organization. Their focus is a Homebuyer Choice Program where they provide up to $150k of financial assistance for residents to purchase the home of their choice on the market and agree to put it into the CLT. They have been allocated over $50 million in funding to provide this financial assistance through the City of Houston’s TIRZ districts, in Indianapolis this is called Tax Increment Fiancing (TIF) Districts.
CLT Coordinator, Kheprw Institute