Community Land Trusts (CLTs) modify the process of homebuying to make it affordable for households today and for generations to come.

Why CLTs Matter: Guaranteed Affordability

CLTs create a permanently affordable home by retaining ownership of the land and selling the building only to an income qualified buyer. This lowers the cost of the home to the buyer, resulting in a smaller down payment and lower monthly mortgage expenses.

As an affordable alternative to renting, the CLT model allows families to build wealth through their monthly mortgage payments. In exchange for buying the house at a lower price, a CLT homeowner agrees to pass on the gift, and sell the home at a price that is affordable to someone in a similar financial situation.

Image explaining the community land trust model

To learn more about Community Land Trusts, visit the Grounded Solutions Network.

Why Buy? Renting vs. Owning

Every time you make a monthly mortgage payment, you build wealth by buying a little more of your home from the lender. Renting doesn’t have the same effect; you don’t own more of your apartment every month, you just pay to stay there.

Chart showing cost of renting over 15 years.

Now, imagine if all the money you paid in rent went into your mortgage instead. The more you pay, the more you own, the more you walk away with when you sell your home.