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Organizations We Love: Crescent City Community Land Trust

By Green Coast on 4 Feb 2019

Crescent City Community Land Trust has taken a good idea and made it even better. As CCCLT’s executive director Julius Kimbrough Jr. points out, community land trusts, which are nonprofit community-based organizations, were originally conceived as a way to preserve affordable homeownership for low-to-moderate income households in gentrifying neighborhoods.

CCCLT is an innovation in the community land trust world,” Kimbrough says. “Not only do we follow in the single family home for-sale CLT traditional, but CCCLT also focuses on permanently affordable multifamily rentals as well as affordable commercial spaces.”

CCCLT’s work centers on the community, and it mirrors the community too. The organization’s board of directors represents a diverse swath of New Orleans, with some of the directors living in housing developed by the land trust. By intentionally including community land trust users on the board, CLTs get the perspective of those they’re serving in order to find out what actual users of affordable real estate want and need.

Two of the newest additions to the CCCLT board – Wendy Washington and Scott Darrah – reside in The Pythian, which CCCLT co-developed along with ERG Enterprises and Green Coast. As a co-developer, CCCLT was able to ensure the permanent workforce-rate affordability of 25 of the building’s 69 apartments.

Like more traditional land trusts, CCCLT is still in the business of providing affordable single family houses for sale. The organization is currently partnering with the Ford Foundation, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and Capital One to sell ten renovated, like new homes in the Lower Ninth Ward that range in price from $33,000 to $90,000.

Producing affordable commercial spaces is the third role of CCCLT as a real estate developer.

“When we do commercial space, we’re assisting low-to-moderate income earners, neighborhood businesses, community enterprises and the under-represented,” Kimbrough says. “This allows our target market to grow companies and organizations and family wealth in a supportive environment. Looking at it holistically, the need for affordable housing and commercial are symptoms of income, gender and racial inequality. When we are able to create leveling opportunities as we have at The Pythian, providing affordability in the heart of New Orleans, we are addressing larger systemic problems.”

The final part to CCCLT’s approach to community and economic development is stewardship. This means that all CLTs commit to the permanent affordability of the real estate they own, its use by low-to-moderate income people along with the broader community and community control or governance over the CLTs resources.

Categories: Development

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