The Inland Equity CLT is a community land trust that develops and stewards affordable housing and other community assets in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Inland Equity CLT's mission is to provide a permanent housing solution to inland residents who fall under HUD’s definition of “housing cost burdened.” HUD defines cost-burdened families as those “who pay more than 30% of their income for housing” and “may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and medical care.” Severe rent burden is defined as paying more than 50 percent of one's income on rent. While our immediate aims are to house the precarious, the Inland Equity CLT ultimate goal is to include residents who are not housing burdened in a mixed-income development model that maintains a commitment to affordability, diversity, high-quality architecture, energy conservation, and resident participation in managing the trust.
In almost every case, a community land trust is a nonprofit, community-based organization designed to ensure community stewardship of land, in perpetuity. Community land trusts are primarily used to ensure long-term housing affordability. The trust acquires land and maintains ownership. Homeowners enter into a long-term, renewable lease of the land. When the homeowner sells their home, the family keeps part of the increased value and the remainder is kept by the trust. Separating the ownership of the land and housing insulates the housing held in trust from wild fluctuations in the price of housing by outside capital speculation and investors who often don't live in the communities affected by housing costs. Homeowners receive an affordable mortgage (30% 0f their income or less) and share the equity in their home with their community members. This guarantees that housing remains affordable for future generations and residents, who can now afford to live where they work. At its heart, a community land trust offers up an alternative vision of a dual-ownership, where the needs of the community is evenly shared between the needs of human right to housing. From this dual-ownership structure, the eternal and dysfunctional conflict between a home's utility function versus a home's as profit-motive is finally resolved.
“Behind every decaying neighborhood is a development plan that doesn’t include the people who live there. We’re not going anywhere unless you price us out.”
~ Glenn Ross, McElderry Park, Baltimore
The Inland Equity CLT is greatly inspired by the Burlington Community Land Trust, which was created from grassroots community organizers and Bernie Sanders, who became Burlington's mayor and offered substantial municpal funds to jump-start what is now the most successful CLT in the nation. There are now over 225 community land trusts across the United States. Burlington Community Land Trust is the largest established land trust in the U.S. and arguably the standard against which other land trusts are measured. Burlington Community Land Trust fosters homeownership. The trust holds homes, low income rentals and limited-equity coops of about 375 units. Burlington Community Land Trust renters’ income is less than 50% of the area median income, while the apartments and households tend to be smaller. Burlington Community Land Trust recent merger with the Lake Champlain Housing Development Corporation, a regional non-profit that manages 1,100 affordable rental units, resulted in the largest regional community land trust in the nation, helping to stabilize land values in the communities they serve.