Built Environments #23: Champlain Housing Trust, Lessons in Revitalization

"The Champlain Housing Trust, founded in 1984, is the largest community land trust in the country. Throughout Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, CHT manages 1,500 apartments, stewards over 500 owner-occupied homes and provides homebuyer education and financial counseling in its signature shared-equity program, provides services to five housing cooperatives, and offers affordable energy efficiency and rehab loans." - See more at: http://www.champlainhousingtrust.org/about/#sthash.mc7KwC8L.dpuf

“The Champlain Housing Trust, founded in 1984, is the largest community land trust in the country. Throughout Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, CHT manages 1,500 apartments, stewards over 500 owner-occupied homes and provides homebuyer education and financial counseling in its signature shared-equity program, provides services to five housing cooperatives, and offers affordable energy efficiency and rehab loans.” – See more at: http://www.champlainhousingtrust.org/about/#sthash.mc7KwC8L.dpuf

The Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) is the largest community land trust in the country and it operates in Northwestern Vermont. It initially was two parts that worked in coordination with each other, the Burlington Community Land trust (BCLT) and Lake Champlain Housing Development Corporation (LCHDC). They merged in 2006 to create the CHT.

CHT provides affordable housing opportunities and services to its community:

  • manages 1,500 apartments
  • stewards over 500 owner-occupied homes
  • provides homebuyer education and financial counseling
  • provides services to five housing cooperatives
  • affordable energy efficiency and rehab loans

Affordable Rental Housing:

  •  cooperative housing programs- a group has collective responsibility for the governing of the rental property
  • offers affordable housing rental options

Paths to Home Ownership:

  • home repair loans – affordable terms, free project coordination services
  • manufactured housing down payment assistance loans – provides “silent” second mortgages for down payment assistance on Energy State homes
  • home buying education and counseling- serves renters, buyers, and owners through three programs: home buyer education, financial capabilities, homeowner services
  • shared equity program (an essential part of community land trust) –  “Champlain Housing Trust offers down payment assistance grants to income and asset eligible buyers.  These grants are perpetually (forever) tied to the property.  They are repaid by the owner at the time of sale and given to the next buyer of the home, thus keeping the property affordable for generations to come. Also in efforts to keep the property affordable, CHT, as a community land trust, will own the land under the house. You will enter into a ground lease agreement that gives you full “rights, use, and responsibility” of the land when you purchase the home.”

Allies:

  • City of Burlington
  • neighboring communities
  • citizen groups

The Board of Directors for CHT consists of three parts. There are five public members, four general members, and four resident members. The management team composed mostly of affordable housing professionals, community advocacy professional, and real estate professionals.

Funding mechanisms:

  • funds from the City of Burlington
  • an endowment called the Lois H. McClure Homes Forever Fund created for planned, multi-year or strategic gifts
  • grants and awards
  • private small donations
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