indianapolis

Community Land Trust
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About

The Indianapolis Community Land Trust (CLT) will work to equip Black, Brown and low-income Indy residents to use land and housing to build community wealth, self-reliance and self-determination, inclusive of creating permanently affordable housing. Indy CLT is being started by the Kheprw Institute with support from partners and residents from around the city who are a part of the Homes for All Indy coalition. We began CLT organizing in 2019 and in 2021 the City of Indianapolis allocated $1.5 million of its American Rescue Plan Act funds to support CLT startup and pilot projects which are anticipated for summer 2023.

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CLT 101 ONLINE TRAINING

On 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 right to take the training yourself online!


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What is a CLT?

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are non-profit organizations democratically governed by residents and community members that acquire, own and steward land for community benefit, often including permanently affordable housing in addition to commercial and other uses. There are over 250 CLTs around the United States. CLTs take real estate out of the speculative market, looking at it not as a financial asset, but as a community asset. CLTs do this in a variety of ways, watch this video for details and check out some of the examples below from around the country..

The 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.

Examples of CLTS

Below are some of the Community Land Trusts that we have studied, visited and learned from over the years that provide examples of what’s possible.

City of Lakes CLTS

City 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.

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Oakland CLT

We got to visit Oakland CLT in July of 2022. They were originally started during the foreclosure crisis of 2008 to try to save homes from being bought by investors. They do both residential projects where they acquire and develop single family homes and commercial projects, like supporting a worker-owned coffee shop to buy their building. They also work with tenants who are interested in purchasing their buildings to prepare their finances and form cooperatives. OakCLT’s mission is to expand and preserve housing and economic development opportunities for Black, Latinx, Asian, other communities of color, and low-income residents of Oakland.

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East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative

We got to to had the fortune to break bread with Noni and Bee in Oakland in July 2022. East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (EBPREC) is not technically a CLT, but operates on many of the same principles focused on stuarding land permanently for the benefit of community. They are setup like a cooperative in that they sell $1000 shares to community investors inside and outside their community in order to raise their own source of capital to purchase properties in their community. They provided a modest return on investment and require investors to keep their money in for at least 5 years. Their biggest and most recent project is purchasing and rehabbing Ester’s Orbit Room which was a historic jazz venue in the community which they are reactivating as an art and cultural space. 



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Houston CLT

We’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.

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Square One Villages

We 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).

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GET INVOLVED

We need you! We are in the beginning stages of shaping what the Indianapolis CLT will look like. We’ve got some ideas but don’t have everything figured out, not by a long-shot. We need your ideas, lived experience and passion to make this a truely community-led project. Provide your contact below if you would like to be added to the Homes for All Indy email list and receive emails on upcoming meetings and ways to get involved AND check out the upcoming events below.

Houston CLT and Grounded Solutions Community Conversation

November 18, 2022

Panelists:

  1. Dr. Ashley Allen, Houston Community Land Trust (https://www.houstonclt.org/)
  2. 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.


Contact

Alvin Sangsuwangul
CLT Coordinator, Kheprw Institute
clt@kheprw.org

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