Opening a pathway to opportunity for families
Today there are few options for lower-income New Yorkers to own homes, shutting off a critical path to building wealth and putting down roots in a neighborhood. With the city in the midst of an unprecedented affordable housing crisis, often the only option is to pay increasingly costly rents or to move out of the city entirely.
Interboro Community Land Trust is a new model for permanently affordable homeownership in New York City that creates a pathway to financial stability for families while preserving economic and racial diversity in spite of gentrification.
Interboro CLT is a collaboration between the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, Habitat for Humanity New York City, the Mutual Housing Association of New York, and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board.
Things to know about Interboro Community Land Trust
What is A COMMUNITY LAND TRUST?
In the community land trust model, a nonprofit organization retains ownership of land and sells or rents housing that has been built on it to lower-income households. To ensure would-be property owners and renters benefit from the arrangement for years to come, the trust caps the resale prices and rents of the housing. This maintains affordability for the next generation of land trust residents and insulates the CLT from the market.
WHAT IS INTERBORO COmmunity land trust?
Interboro CLT will be a non-profit organization focused on creating affordable opportunities for homeownership across New York City. The CLT will own land and give lower-income households renewable 99-year ground leases for single-family homes and co-ops. Interboro CLT homes will be supported by a nonprofit whose goal is to preserve affordability and support homeowners.
Where is the Interboro CLT?
Interboro CLT is committed to creating permanently affordable homeownership opportunities all over New York City. The CLT’s first projects are anticipated to be in eastern Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and southeast Queens.
Why affordable homeownership?
Affordable homeownership creates opportunity and security for New Yorkers who would otherwise be excluded from the opportunity to build household wealth that can last generations. This is acutely so for black and Latino households: Public policy has historically created obstacles that limit their access to homeownership. By creating more favorable conditions for homeownership for these families, it may be possible to narrow the wealth gap between black and Latino families and white families. Furthermore, there are benefits beyond asset building for lower-income families: the stability of ownership has been proven to increase health outcomes and educational achievement; and cooperative ownership connects residents in an empowering and supportive community. Finally, in the face of gentrification, homeownership is the best way to lock in the benefits of a neighborhood’s economic revitalization for longtime residents.
How will Interboro be governed?
As leaseholders move into Interboro CLT, the nonprofit organization’s board will evolve to include residents of the CLT as well as community members from neighborhoods where it is active. Community governance will help direct the CLT toward development that is in the interest of its community and that reflects the values of its residents.
Do Interboro CLT single family and coop owners build wealth?
Yes. Interboro homes will sell for below-market prices and, in many cases, monthly mortgage payments will be similar to or lower than market rents in a given neighborhood. That means that every time CLT homeowners make a mortgage payment, they will be building equity by paying down their mortgage principal and by saving dollars that they might have otherwise spent on renting an apartment. The Interboro ground lease will also allow for a modest increase in a homeowner’s portion of their property’s equity every year. That money may be used for a downpayment on a market-rate home or to support their families as they choose.
What is the advantage of a CLT over deed restrictions?
Traditionally, affordable homeownership in NYC is implemented through deed restrictions rather than CLT ground leases. While deed restrictions can be a useful mechanism to ensure affordability for an initial buyer, most deed-restricted housing transitions to market prices within a couple decades if not sooner. By contrast, homes on the Interboro CLT will be permanently affordable since resale restrictions and owner-occupancy rules remain in place for the full 99-year renewable land lease. The land trust prevents foreclosures and supports its residents if they face financial challenges.
More resources on community land trusts
Supporters of Interboro CLT
Interboro has received critical support from Citi Community Development, the CLT’s founding corporate partner. Interboro has also received support from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the Office of the New York State Attorney General.
About the Partners
Center for NYC Neighborhoods
The Center for NYC Neighborhoods promotes and protects affordable homeownership in New York so that middle- and working-class families are able to build strong, thriving communities. Established by public and private partners, the Center meets the diverse needs of homeowners throughout New York State by offering free, high quality housing services. Visit cnycn.org for more information and connect with us on Twitter at @cnycn
Habitat for Humanity New York City
Habitat for Humanity New York City transforms lives and communities by building and preserving affordable homes with hardworking families - and by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing. With the help of thousands of volunteers each year, Habitat NYC builds and repairs homes for families across the five boroughs. Learn more at www.HabitatNYC.org and connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @HabitatNYC.
MHANY Management, Inc.
MHANY Management, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to increasing affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate income residents of New York. For almost 30 years we have offered housing acquisition, development, and management services as well as comprehensive housing counseling. MHANY has helped build equity and economic and housing stability for thousands of families.
Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
An affordable housing nonprofit, UHAB creates, preserves, and guides low- and moderate-income co-ops and strong tenant associations. Since 1973, UHAB has helped transform some 1,600 distressed rental buildings into 1,350 affordable housing cooperatives, enabling residents of more than 30,000 apartments to become co-op homeowners.
Founding Corporate Partner
Citi Community Development
Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families and communities across the U.S. Through innovative collaborations with municipalities, community groups and leading nonprofit organizations, we harness Citi’s expertise, products and services to help expand opportunity for all.
Additional information can be found at http://citicommunitydevelopment.com