Community land trust in Hillsborough County could help bring down housing prices – FOX 13 Tampa Bay

December 17, 2021 by No Comments

Hillsborough commissioners develop new affordable housing plan

Briona Arradondo reports

Finding an affordable place to live is so challenging that Hillsborough County leaders are turning to a creative solution to help residents. 

Commissioners are setting up a community land trust, allowing the county to buy land, build housing, and ensure affordable prices. 

“I think that our challenge is that there is no one panacea, there is no one magic pill that’s going to solve the problem. Instead, we need a toolbox of options,” said Commissioner Harry Cohen.

Commissioners approved $750,000 to set up the public-private program for three years, with help from the Florida Housing Coalition.

“A community land trust makes housing permanently affordable,” said Jaimie Ross, the CEO of the Florida Housing Coalition. “Virtually everywhere in the state, the housing prices, the homeownership, housing prices are at the highest they’ve ever been.”

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Ross said a community land trust (CLT) separates the land from the housing it sits on. The program will let the county buy land, and then work with a developer to build housing for income-eligible families to rent or buy. A community land trust could also allow the county to buy an existing building and renovate it. 

“So it provides a way out of rental and kind of that step into homeownership. And that way the CLT homeowner can save and plan,” said Ross.

County leaders said the lack of affordable housing is a crisis, and there’s no one solution to fix the problem.

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