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                                Community-Supported, Sustainable, Affordable Home Ownership

SCDC and Local News

  • SCDC joins AHFC in homebuyer class: Prospective Community Land Trust (CLT) homeowners are required to take this class prior to submitting their application. CLT applications will be available soon but in the meantime, be sure to sign up for this class. Download the flyer for more info.


  • MEETING: The SCDC Board of Directors will hold their next monthly meeting on Friday, September 5th at 7 pm at the Braveheart Volunteers office.
  • CLT Land: City and Borough of Sitka Assembly gives land to Sitka Community Land Trust! Sentinel and KCAW

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Affordable Housing News

  • Announcing the debut of a website devoted to preserving and sharing the history of the community land trust in the United States and, later on, the story of the CLT's development in other countries as well. The name of this new website is Roots & Branches: a Gardener's Guide to the Origins and Evolution of the Community Land Trust (
  • I've been hearing talk from some Sitkans about creating more "urban" housing so folks can have a walkable lifestyle here. Below are some thoughts about how likely that change will occur in the near future. What If the Housing Bust Wasn’t a Game-Changer? by EMILY BADGER. This opens off-site.
  • Is it cheaper to rent or buy? Check out this online calculator.

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Funding Affordable Housing

There are virtually no negative policy implications to providing funding for affordable housing. Here are some bullet points from a Center for Housing Policy brief. Affordable housing policies:
  1. Create jobs: Investing in the development of affordable housing creates a significant number of construction-related jobs, and new residents support additional jobs in other sectors going forward.
  2. Attract both employers and employees. Surveys and supporting research show that both employers and workers understand the importance of affordable housing in attracting and retaining a skilled workforce.
  3. Increase consumer spending. Building affordable housing increases the buying power of both those involved in its construction and those who occupy it afterward.
  4. Increase government revenues. The taxes and fees associated with the development of affordable housing – both during the construction and after the homes are occupied – can represent significant revenue for state and local governments.
  5. Lower the risk of foreclosure. Affordable homeownership programs appear to produce a more sustainable path to homeownership, eliminating a number of significant foreclosure-related costs that municipalities would otherwise have to absorb.

Affordable Housing

Lillian Drive - first Sitka CLT lot (blue outline). Click on image for the PDF.

Lillian Drive

Lillian Dr lot

"Affordable housing is a term used to describe dwelling units whose total housing costs are deemed "affordable" to those that have a median income. Although the term is often applied to rental housing that is within the financial means of those in the lower income ranges of a geographical area, the concept is applicable to both renters and purchasers in all income ranges." (wikipedia

"The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more then 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing, and a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. The lack of affordable housing is a significant hardship for low-income households preventing them from meeting their other basic needs, such as nutrition and healthcare, or saving for their future and that of their families. " (HUD)

Community Land Trust

"Community Land Trusts are, perhaps, one of the most effective means of ensuring permanent affordability of resident ownership simply because the trust maintains ownership of the land. The objective of a CLT is to acquire land and make it available to individual families, cooperatives and others through longterm leases up to 99 years. While the leaseholders do not hold title to the land, they may own the buildings or housing units/structures on the land."(HUD)

"A community land trust is a nonprofit corporation which acquires and manages land on behalf of the residents of a place-based community, while preserving affordability and preventing foreclosures for any housing located upon its land." Wikipedia

Additional Characteristics

"Since 1992, the defining features of the CLT model in the United States have been enshrined in federal law (Section 212, Housing and Community Development Act of 1992). There is considerable variation among the hundreds of organizations that call themselves a community land trust, but ten key features are to be found in most of them." more from Wikipedia...

Community Development Corporation

"A community development corporation (CDC) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated to provide programs, offer services and engage in other activities that promote and support community development. CDCs usually serve a geographic location such as a neighborhood or a town. They often focus on serving lower-income residents or struggling neighborhoods. They can be involved in a variety of activities including economic development, education, community organizing and real estate development. These organizations are often associated with the development of affordable housing." Wiki

Let's End Homelessness Now - Watch and find out how:

Please take a moment to check out how the United for Homes proposal would affect your taxes.


Please look locally first before buying then if you must shop online, try AmazonSmile first. Thanks!

Sitka Community Development Corporation

Q: Why doesn’t the market produce enough affordable housing where people want it?

The Answer

What's in Sitka's Future?

The SCDC has explored various options for housing that is permanently affordable. One of the options it is looking at is Cottage or Cluster Housing.

Pocket Neighborhood Slideshow from AARP.

"According to the AARP 2011 Boomer Housing Survey, which polled nearly 3,500 adults ages 45 to 65, boomers want to live near shops, medical offices and churches, and value living in a place that fosters a sense of belonging." AARP

Below is a shared courtyard in a Seattle, WA Homestead CLT property.

Homestead CLT

Below are some homes from the OPAL Community Land Trust (CLT) on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands, WA.

Examples of CLT Housing:





" Cottage Housing is generally defined as a grouping of small, single family dwelling units clustered around a common area and developed with a coherent plan for the entire site. They have gained popularity in recent years as a type of infill development on small sites, within existing developed areas. The cottage units may have other shared amenities. The shared common area and coordinated design may allow densities that are somewhat higher than typical in single family neighborhoods possible while minimizing impacts on adjacent residential areas. As a result, cottage housing can offer its owners a quality living experience that is less expensive than traditional single family housing. It also offers a degree of privacy and some of the benefits of single family housing combined with the lower cost and maintenance of attached housing. The clustered arrangement can contribute to a sense of community. Even so, its departure from existing patterns and its higher density have encountered resistance in some communities. " from MRSC