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Land Trust Program

The Land Trust, a program of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland, develops affordable homes for sale and for rent. Homes for sale are fully rehabilitated, with a goal of creating durable energy efficient homes in quality, walkable neighborhoods for purchase by income-qualified and mortgage-ready buyers. Buyers will be fully prepared for successful homeownership by completing homebuyer classes through a HUD-approved counseling agency and by becoming fully oriented to ownership in the Land Trust Program.

Community Land Trusts help low and moderate income families benefit from the equity built through homeownership, and at the same time preserve the affordability of these homes so that future residents will have the same affordable homeownership opportunities.

How It Works

Clients buy the home with a traditional bank mortgage, but they lease the land on which the house sits. They receive a 99-year renewable lease to the land, which provides secure access to the property. The leaseholder can do all of the things on the land that an owner could do--plant a garden or build a swing set, for example--and the lease continues until the homeowner decides it is time to move. The home is then sold to another lower-income buyer at an affordable price.

Through this arrangement, the Land Trust is able to maximize homeownership opportunities in the long term and make efficient use of the public investment in affordable housing. At the same time, land trust homeowners build equity from the beginning through paying off their mortgage and getting a share of any increase in the home's value in the time they owned it.

For more information, download a copy of How the Land Trust Program Works.

The Land Trust Model

The Land Trust Program is based on a nationally successful homeownership model for lower income households, the Community Land Trust model. The land lease arrangement used by the Land Trust is a powerful tool for securing the community's investment in housing. It preserves public and private subsidy in affordable housing, assuring that the homes developed by the Land Trust continue to provide opportunities for homeownership through successive sales to low or moderate income buyers.

When a house is initially developed (whether rehabbed or newly constructed), the home is sold at a substantially reduced price to a low- or moderate-income family.

How To Get Started

For more information about Land Trust homeownership, please contact Marge Misak, Land Trust Program Director by phone at 216-458-4663 x 2334 or by email.

Additional Resources

Learn about the Steps to Purchasing a Land Trust Home.

Let us help you answer those Land Trust FAQ's.

Download a copy of our Land Trust Brochure.

See The Land Trust featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer or hear our very own Marge Misak on The Sound of Ideas - WCPN 90.3.

To learn more about Community Land Trust’s, visit the Grounded Solutions Network or Roots and Branches.

In April 2014, NHS of Greater Cleveland hosted the National Community Land Trust Conference which convened thought leaders from around the country and produced a valuable bank of session reference materials available here.