Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative Karen Clark

273 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX

Posted: 2009-03-26 00:00:00
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Nonprofit Housing Bonds and Community Land Trusts Help Local Communities

I am authoring legislation (House File 1354) that would allow the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to raise up to $100 million to enable local governments and nonprofits to maximize federal and state Challenge Fund resources to address affordable housing at the local level.

Nonprofit housing bonds can be issued for the purpose of making loans to acquire affordable rental housing and vacant or foreclosed residential property that would publicly owned or owned by a non-profit organization. A neighborhood land trust, for example could be a non-profit owner.

Today, I want to focus on why it’s important to support neighborhood land trusts like the Minnesota Community Land Trust Coalition (MNCLTC) as foreclosures raise the questions of community control and the ability to increase community assets that can ensure the success of homeowners.

A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a private nonprofit organization that is created to acquire and hold land for the benefit of a community to help ensure permanent affordable housing. Statewide CLTs have strategically partnered with local communities, community development corporations, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and other housing partners. Their goal is to provide secure long-term affordable housing that offers community control and stewardship of the public investment.

Currently, there are nine CLT members of the Minnesota Community Land Trust Coalition. CLT’s “people focused approach" emphasizes and delivers the following:

• Long-term success means greater stability and requires 30 year fixed-rate mortgages
• CLT homeowners have one-thirtieth the risk of foreclosure compared to traditional homeowners
• CLT’s owner-occupancy requirement leads to greater community investment
• Land trusts recycle the funds that build affordability (a real advantage in times of scarce resources)
• CLT support homeowners with pre- and post-purchase education and in some cases, reserve accounts to support them in saving for household improvements and repairs.

CLT homeownership is a responsible, quality, homeownership opportunity provided to hundreds of households across Minnesota. It not only focuses on housing, but also the success of our residents and strengthens our Minnesota communities. It creates good job opportunities with local contractors and builders and can incorporate and leverage green building and energy efficient components.

Please feel free to call or write with any ideas or issues. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-0294, by mail at 471 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 or by e-mail at rep.karen.clark@house.mn.

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