1) What is a Community Land Trust (CLT)?

The concept of a CLT is a very old, and tried and true model for promoting affordable home ownership. The model shares the expenses of home ownership among the buyer of the improvements (home, buildings, etc.) and the real estate or ground. The CLT “candidate” buys the improvements under a conventional financing mortgage and the CLT buys the lot, which we then lease to you for a 99-year term. When you are ready to sell, a resale formula is used to set the sales price so that you retain the equity you’ve accumulated through your payments to the principal of your mortgage loan, plus a portion of the market appreciation that has accrued over your ownership. This resale formula provides the money you need for a downpayment on your next home, and allows us to hold the sales price at an affordable level for future buyers.

Here is a graph on how this model works to create a stock of affordable housing for the present and future.

2) Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants include any household whose income is generally less than 80% of County median income as periodically determined by HUD. (Our 1 page pre-application helps us determine this.) Also, we can only assist with home purchases under the following conditions:

  • the home must be located in Story County
  • the home must be in a city where there are public utilities
  • the home must not be in a flood plain and
  • the home must generally be in good and safe condition.

(SCCHC staff will undertake an inspection of potential homes identified by a candidate.) You should also have access to some funds for a down payment. You need not currently be a Story County resident.

3) How is the SCCHC funded?

The SCCHC constantly markets our services and mission to Story County groups with the intention of education and a membership base. From these memberships and other donations we operate an office in Ames and invest in affordable housing lots. The Corporation also applies for and seeks funding from applicable foundations, charities, and other philanthropy to promote our cause. (Let us know if you would like us to speak at your gathering or event.)

4) Who pays my property taxes and insurance?

As the candidate / improvements buyer, you do. Your mortgager will create escrows for both of these annual occupancy costs and add them to the principle and interest portion of your monthly loan payment. It is noted that your property taxes reflect the full assessed value of improvements and land as determined annually by the Story County assessor. You are typically free to shop the area market for an insurance agent and policy which suits your needs and mortgager’s requirements. The mortgager then assures the policy is paid from the escrow funds as the premiums are due. The SCCHC does maintain a blanket liability policy on all its lots and holdings for your protection.

5) How can I become a supporting member of the SCCHC?

Thank you for asking! As a non-profit local corporation we rely extensively upon the support of members. Membership is obtained by a minimal annual contribution to the Corporation, in fiscal support or an equivalent in talents, time or other service. Individuals and companies are welcome to support our mission through membership. Please contact us for the current suggested contribution levels to become a member.

For suggestions on how to get involved, please go here.