THE POWER OF A
COMMUNITY LAND TRUST
1. Prioritizing the people that make a place home.
Community land trusts, also known as housing trusts, are rooted in the goal of strengthening a community’s social fabric and resilience through a more collective ownership and management of its most critical resources – land and housing. Holding land and housing in a trust takes those assets off the speculative market, enabling a community to shape its future. As housing prices skyrocket across the Olympic Peninsula, and especially in Jefferson County, Homeward Bound provides a path for the people of this region to regain a sense of agency in determining how and where we will develop new housing, and whom it will be accessible to.
2. Centering the voices of those who are served.
Unlike traditional charity organizations, housing trusts are designed to be accountable to the people they serve, and driven by their needs and priorities. One third of the Board of Trustees must be either: clients of the organization, people who are low-income, or people who work in organizations that serve low-income populations. Furthermore, as a membership organization in which members have voting rights on certain decisions, Homeward Bound is accountable to the broader communities that it serves. Therefore, every asset that is given to or acquired by the organization belongs to the community as a whole, and must be used for its greater good.
3. Building diverse, stable, thriving communities.
Housing trusts are flexible enough to provide an array of housing opportunities, including home ownership, quality rentals, intentional housing developments, mobile or tiny home communities, limited equity cooperative housing, condominiums, and more. No matter what type of housing a specific community land trust focuses on, the housing must be permanently affordable. Our community needs an array of affordable housing options in order to ensure a stable workforce, provide accessibility for varying incomes, ages, backgrounds, and racial identities, and retain young families. Homeward Bound aims to provide both home ownership and rental opportunities, through building new, high-quality housing and managing homes that are donated or purchased.
4. Providing a whole lot more than housing.
Housing trusts are not just about making sure that lower income people have access to housing – they are also committed to keeping them in their homes. The organization provides services, resources, and support for every person who is served in its housing. This includes everything from financially assisting with major capitol improvements, such as roof replacements, to helping provide resources to prevent foreclosures, to the basic act of reaching out to check in during a potentially impactful event, such as a national financial recession.