The Real Deal New York

This is how NYC’s affordable housing orgs plan to compete with investors and developers

Members of land trust see land leases as a sustainable strategy toward home ownership
October 26, 2017 11:15AM

Jamaica, Queens and the Bronx

A new land trust wants to help low-income New Yorkers compete with developers and investors for homes.

One key component of the land trust’s plan is to keep ownership of land under their homes, allowing them to control the prices that they resell for and keep them relatively inexpensive, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Founding members of the land trust include Habitat for Humanity New York City and the Mutual Housing Association of New York. The group’s creators said they could create 250 units over the next few years, and they plan to focus on areas like southeast Queens, southeast Brooklyn and the Bronx.

The trust plans to keep many homes affordable for households earning 80 percent of median income in New York, which works out to about $76,000 for a family of four.

Although there was a shift away from promoting low-income home ownership after the foreclosure crisis, housing groups are now looking to help such tenants find homes as real estate prices continue to climb.

Melora Hiller, chief executive of Grounded Solutions, a company that works with community land trusts, told the Journal that the New York group could be a national leader on this issue.

“Since the foreclosure crisis,” she said, “we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of communities trying to prevent displacement.” [WSJ] Eddie Small