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About.

WHAT IS A LAND TRUST?

Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit, community-based organizations with a mission of providing perpetually affordable homes and stewardship of the land.

Houston CLT was incorporated in 2018 in partnership with the City of Houston and the Houston Housing Finance Corporation.

HCLT enables limited-income households to own homes on land leased from the CLT for 99-years. Each CLT homeowner receives a deed and title to his or her home and leases the land on which the home sits. In exchange for financial assistance provided to enable them to purchase a home they could not otherwise afford, CLT homeowners agree to limit the price at which they can sell their homes, ensuring that the home remains affordable to future limited-income households without requiring the investment of additional subsidies.

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CLT BENEFITS

HCLT invests in homes upfront to lower the sales price and make them affordable to persons earning less than 80% of the area median income.

Homeowners are members of HCLT for as long as they own their homes. As members, homeowners are eligible to vote, volunteer or become a HCLT board member. HCLT provides a wide array of support to its homeowners including help in dealing with financial problems and foreclosure prevention.

CLTs can help prevent gentrification by keeping homes affordable and reducing homeowners’ tax burden even when markets rise faster than wages.

Homeowners have control of their housing with stable monthly housing payments, security from eviction, and the opportunity to accumulate both earned equity and market equity. HCLT homeowners can also take advantage of income tax deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest.

Programs

Programs.

WHAT WE OFFER

HCLT offers education, training, and financial assistance for income-limited families wanting to buy an affordable home in a market that is increasingly unaffordable.
01. Homebuyer Education Workshops.

Prepare for homeownership by learning about the buying process, financial responsibilities and obligations, and available services.

02. CLT Orientation Classes.

Learn about community land trusts – how they work, how they are structured, and how they can help you become a homeowner.

03. Events Calendar.

Check back soon for upcoming events.

DATA

Data.

HOUSTON HOUSING CRISIS

With home prices rising faster than incomes, Houston faces a crisis of housing quality, affordability, and security.
Average increase in Houston incomes: 32%
Average increase in Houston rents: 44%
Average increase in Houston home prices: 86%

COMMUNITY COMES FIRST.

HCLT works with non-profits, community groups, churches, and local government to help ensure neighborhood stability and predictable growth. Although HCLT operates citywide, our work is neighborhood-based. HCLT focuses on addressing the unique needs of each community and works to connect homeowners to neighborhood resources in order to strengthen community ties and ensure homeowners have everything they need to be successful. HCLT is a community-based organization with two-thirds of its board-membership reserved for CLT community members or homeowners.

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HOW DO CLTS HELP?

Community land trusts ensure permanent housing affordability by providing an upfront subsidy to lower the initial sales price and restricting future sale prices so the home remains affordable for generations to come.

Community land trusts protect and leverage public monies by ensuring permanent affordability after a single, upfront subsidy. This process maximizes the impact of public dollars and provides lasting results from a single investment.

Land trusts provide services and referrals based on the homeowner’s needs.  These resources include foreclosure protection and financial counseling to help homeowners remain successful. HCLT also works to connect homeowners to the wider communities in which they live. By partnering with community organizations, HCLT ensures that homeowners have the support they need to be successful and help communities thrive.

Community land trusts stabilize neighborhoods by ensuring housing quality and preventing displacement. They keep homes affordable even when market values skyrocket; therefore, CLTs give residents the ability to stay in their homes even in the midst of rapid development.

FIND A HOME

Find a Home.

HOW TO APPLY

01. Attend a homebuyer education workshop.

HCLT partners with agencies approved by the US Department of Housing (HUD) to provide homebuyer education classes. Click here to find a class near you.

02. Attend a CLT orientation session.

HCLT offers CLT orientation sessions in our office and throughout Houston. Click here to see the latest orientation class schedule.

03. Submit an application with supporting documentation.

Applicants must provide: (1) a completed application, (2) copies of the last 60 days’ of pay stubs, and (3) copies of last two years federal tax returns.

04. Obtain a mortgage pre-qualification letter.

HCLT partners with lenders who understand the importance and structure of CLTs. Although applicants may get a mortgage from any lender, using one of our partners will expedite the buying process. Click here to find HCLT partner lenders.

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WHO QUALIFIES?

HCLT supports homeowners who earn less than 80% of the area median income. To qualify, households must earn less than the maximum income shown below based on household size.

Household Size Maximum Income
1 $41,950
2 $47,950
3 $53,950
4 $59,900
5 $64,700
6 $69,500
7 $74,300
8 $79,100

CLIENTS

Team.

WORK WITH US

HCLT is looking for people passionate about home affordability and serving Houston’s neighborhoods. Open opportunities are listed below.

Join HCLT as a contractor to develop outreach materials and organize orientation sessions.

02. Office Manager.

Oversee HCLT’s office and administrative functions, including file management, bookkeeping, reception services and inventory control.

LEARN MORE

Learn More.

EXPLORE CLTS

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FAQS

CLT homeowners include families, children, grandparents, couples, and singles. They are social workers, bus drivers, teachers, students, office workers, business owners, stay-at-home moms, artists, police officers, and much more.

Some of our lowest income homebuyers would not have been able to buy a home except through the CLT program. Other CLT homeowners could have afforded to buy a home on the open market, but most likely they would have qualified for a home in need of significant repairs which would have been too expensive for them to complete. HCLT helps these families purchase a much higher quality home than they would have otherwise been able to afford.

You may choose to work with any area realtor to purchase a CLT home or you may request a list of realtors that have worked with HCLT in the past.

Because HCLT land is held in trust, the land value is exempt. Additionally, taxes on CLT homes will be based on the maximum resale value as determined by the HCLT resale formula. This taxation model means that HCLT homeowners have less of a tax burden, which helps make homeownership affordable long-term.

When a homeowner wants to sell his or her home, a formula is used to determine the sale price. Essentially, in exchange for buying a home at an affordable price, the homeowner agrees to sell the home at an affordable price. This preserves the affordability for the next lower-income family who buys the home.

Homeowners selling the home will receive all of the equity that they have gained from paying down their mortgage plus a portion of the home’s appreciation. The amount of appreciation will depend on how long the homeowner stays in the home. For each year in the home, homeowners are eligible for 1.25% of the home’s original sales price as appreciation when the home sells. A sample resale calculation is below.

Initial appraised value $120,000
HCLT subsidy to lower sale price $30,000
Initial purchase price $90,000
Appreciation to seller (10 years) $11,250
Resale price of the home $100,000

Yes. HCLT homes can be passed down to other household members or family members.

Land ownership within CLTs is similar to a condo-ownership model. As with condos, CLT homeowners do not own the land on which their home is built; however, unlike many condos, CLT homeowners have exclusive use of their land.

GET IN TOUCH

Contact.

LET’S TALK

Interested in learning more about the Houston Community Land Trust and how you can get involved?