Incorporated in 2018 as an independent non-profit corporation, Houston Community Land Trust’s mission is to make affordable homeownership achievable for limited-income households in Houston, Texas. We connect income-qualified homebuyers with perpetually affordable homes in neighborhoods across our city. Houston Community Land Trust also provides stewardship services and long-term support necessary for homebuyers to be successful in homeownership. We are guided by the principles of community empowerment, equitable access to high-quality housing, and a long-term vision for protecting future affordability for all Houstonians.

Our Staff

Ashley Allen
Executive Director

Ashley Paige Allen currently serves as the Executive Director of the Houston Community Land Trust. She brings to the role 14 years of non-profit leadership experience. Her previous work includes serving as the Director of Postsecondary Programs at Horizons for Youth, an educational and social services non-profit in Chicago, IL and developing S.T.E.M education and workforce development programs within the biotech industry. She began her career as a food scientist for a market research company, testing products for companies such as Wrigley, Pepsico and Kraft. Ashley has been a community organizer for 10 years advocating around the issues of affordable housing, homelessness and education. She helped draft and pass the Students in Temporary Living Situations policy which now provides educational support to over 20,000 Chicago Public School students. Ashley was a consultant with the Barack Obama Foundation where she assisted in the planning and roll-out of the foundation’s first outreach initiatives and internship program. She is a presenter and speaker at conferences and events all over the country. She holds a B.S. in Food Science from Florida A&M University, an M.P.A from Governors State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Cultural and Educational Policy with a concentration in Sociology at Loyola University Chicago.

Nina Culotta
Housing Director

Nina Culotta is HCLT’s Housing Director, responsible for coordinating HCLT’s affordable housing program. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law and a Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from New York University. Prior to joining HCLT, Ms. Culotta worked as a real estate attorney with Baker Botts L.L.P. She is a former HCLT board member with in-depth experience providing legal and operational support to community land trusts in Texas.

Novella Bean
Homebuyer Support Coordinator

Novella Bean serves as the Homebuyer Support Coordinator for the Houston Community Land Trust. Her responsibilities include engaging with communities, building partnerships, and advocating for homebuyers. In addition to over 18 years of real estate experience, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Texas Southern University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston – Central. Novella’s desire to improve communities’ quality of life and the health of residents suffering from preventable diseases drives her extensive volunteer work in southeast Houston. She has assisted a non-profit and community stakeholders to formulate a $1,000,000 strategic project to implement community improvements, the Northern Third Ward Neighborhood Implementation Plan, funded by a Wells Fargo Foundation grant. Her project leadership and management skills have helped another non-profit gain recognition from the Houston Mayor’s Outstanding Proud Partners Awards. She has successfully helped several organizations to strategically design and implement their program plans, improvement plans, disaster recovery plan, gentrification plan, and policies and procedures. Novella has extensive experience presenting at public events. Her speaking topics include food inequality in food desert communities, safe and affordable housing, and environmental factors that impact communities’ and families’ health.

Our Board

Assata Richards
Board President

Assata Richards is the Director of the Sankofa Research Institute and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston. She has a Doctorate and Masters in Sociology from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Houston. Ms. Richards also serves as Board President of the Emancipation Economic Development Council and as a member of the Houston Housing Coalition coordinating team. She is the founding Board President of the recently formed Third Ward Cooperative Community Builders and served as Chair of the Housing Transition Committee for Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Diana Del Pillar

Diana Del Pilar is the Founding Principal of Rose M. Avalos Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Aldine Independent School District. She is formerly the Founding Principal of Middle College High School at HCC Gulfton and former principal of Helms Elementary Dual Language Magnet School in Houston ISD. She has a Masters of Education from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelors in Academic Studies from Sam Houston State University. Ms. Del Pilar is active in the National Hispanic Professionals Organization and is passionate about the college and career readiness of at-risk youth and an advocate of the importance of stable, affordable housing to ensuring a strong and consistent educational foundation that will lead all children to future success.

Adelle Main
Board Secretary

Adelle Main is the Assistant Director of the Community Design Resource Center, at the University of Houston where she also teaches as an Adjunct Lecturer. She has a Masters of International Urban and Environmental Management from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from the University of Western Australia. Ms. Main has helped design community plans for Houston’s Complete Communities Initiative and the Northline and Third Ward neighborhoods. She has long been a proponent for community land trusts in the Houston area and served as the Chair of the Emancipation Economic Development Council’s Community Land Trust and Housing Working Group from 2015-2017.

Reynaldo Guerra
Board Treasurer

Reynaldo Guerra is a Senior Proposal Development Engineer with the Siemens Corporation. He has Doctorate and Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston. Mr. Guerra is actively involved in the community and has served as Civic Engagement Chair for the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board under both Mayor Parker and Turner. He is also the founder of several local organizations including the New Leaders Council, Tacos and Vote, and Camp STEMovation.

Redick Edwards

Redick Edwards is Board President and Chairman of the Houston Housing Finance Corporation and formerly Senior Vice President and Client Manager with Bank of America’s Commercial Banking division. He has a Master’s degree from the New York University Graduate School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from Dillard University. Mr. Edwards is passionate about homelessness prevention and serves as a member of Mayor Turner’s Permanent Supportive Housing Committee. In Houston, he has also served as a member of the Civil Service Commission, United Negro College Fund, Urban League and March of Dimes.

LaDonna Parker

LaDonna Parker is a Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams and is a certified Texas Affordable Housing Specialist. She has a Bachelors in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and serves on the Master Faculty for KWRI. She founded the Better Family Life’s 26th Ward Neighborhood Association and served as its Director from 2008-2010. Ms. Parker has also served as an Affordable Commissioner for five years and has extensive experience with low-to-moderate income housing development.

Whitney Crayton

Whitney Crayton is a Real Estate Associate with King & Spalding LLP. She has a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law and a Bachelors in History from Columbia University. Ms. Crayton is a former member of Teach for America and currently serves on the board of the Emancipation Economic Development Council. She is an advocate for Houston’s Third Ward community and co-founder of the Houston Black Associates Collective.

HCLT’s Commitment to Fair Housing: Equal consideration is a fundamental principle at HCLT, where access to housing is based upon personal capabilities and qualification without discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, familial status, age, ethnic background, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status, or being a recipient of public assistance, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.