Redefining Real Property Ownership in America
Free Enterprise Forum Examines Community Land Trusts
The Free Enterprise Forum released a new report examining the use of Community Land Trusts across the country. Community Land Trusts change the dynamics of property ownership. Over simplified, the “owner” owns the house and a low cost, long term lease on the land that the Trust holds. When the land cost is effectively removed from the transaction, affordability improves.
“Community Land Trusts: Redefining Real Property Ownership in America” was written and researched by Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer Kara L. Reese. Ms. Reese’s legal background and her determined research generated a well documented, balanced review of the many legal issues surrounding the unique Trust/Lessee relationship including: property maintenance, property rights, transferability, insurability, and taxation.
Under current State law, Community Land Trusts are not possible (See comment 1 & 2 below). The Thomas Jefferson Community Land Trust, a diverse stakeholder group of Charlottesville area citizens, is interested in lobbying for the enabling state legislation pursuing this concept locally.
“Community Land Trusts: Redefining Real Property Ownership in America” is being made available to the region’s elected leaders, business leaders, and the media in order to assist them in better understanding this new concept of home ownership. The report provides significant examples of the potential benefits and pitfalls of a Community Land Trust.
Free Enterprise Forum President Neil Williamson said, “Affordable housing is an important issue for localities throughout the region. Community Land Trusts may or may not be a part of the solution to the affordable housing issue. Our goal with this independent research is to reach out to the community and start this important discussion”.
The Free Enterprise Forum is a privately funded, public policy organization. The entire report can be accessed at www.freeenterpriseforum.org.