A Community Land Trust for Pottstown

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					 A Community Land Trust
          for Pottstown
      Steering Committee
Jerry Nugent, Kathy Phifer, Jason
  Bobst, Judy Memberg, Dave
    Garner, Chris Huff, David
       Jackson, Sue Repko
          December 20, 2010

                          What is a CLT?
             A nonprofit model for:

  Community involvement & partnerships
          Increased homeownership
          Neighborhood stabilization
              Community gardens
                   Job creation

PA Housing Alliance: “Housing is economic development.”   2
                                      History of CLTs

             Active in the U.S. since the 1970s
                          241 CLTs in 45 states
                         Over 5,000 CLT homes
                         There are 5 CLTs in PA:
         State College, Philadelphia, Macungie,
               Bellefonte & Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley CLT received the 2010 Innovation Award from the PA Housing Alliance 3
      Pottstown’s Housing Crisis
                             The Cycle
              Estimated 44% rental housing stock
               Concentration of subsidized units
                      Lax code enforcement
                          Blighted properties
                      Wave of foreclosures*
     Diminishing real estate values →increased
         property taxes → homeowner flight

* So far, 75+ properties went to banks in 2010 (excl. Hanover Sq.)
How does a CLT work?

         Affordable Homeownership
       A CLT owns property, rehabilitates buildings,
         then sells or leases buildings according to
                      community goals.
       A CLT retains ownership of the land beneath
                       the buildings.
       A re-sale formula allows owners to build equity
           but keeps homes permanently affordable.
       CLT stewardship promotes home maintenance
                  & prevents foreclosure.
          Neighborhood Stabilization
              CLTs continually engage with residents.

       CLTs rely on partnerships to solve safety and code
        enforcement problems: Borough, Genesis Housing,
                    CPR/Neighborhood Watch.

        CLTs do more than housing: community gardens
        can turn vacant lots into attractive, healthy and safe
                         communal spaces.

        A Vision for Old
        Chestnut Street


             Economic Development
            CLT can serve as land bank
            CLT can partner with County
              Redevelopment Authority
   CLT can own, lease & sell commercial
   CLT can create job incubator, market
    properties for artists, sell properties at
             market rates & more
       CLTs create local construction jobs      9
   The experts have spoken
Current Pottstown planning documents
  support the principles behind a CLT:
• Creation of non-profit housing corporation
            Increased homeownership
            Increased housing choices
            Stabilized neighborhoods
        Enforcement of housing codes

                    Technical Memorandum
             Program Initiatives to Support
          Core District Redevelopment Plan
               Urban Partners, March 2003
                      Combat disinvestment by:
                      improving code enforcement
                     helping renters become buyers
             helping homeowners make repairs
   encouraging multi-family conversions to single-family
   establishing programs that are not income-restricted
     Pottstown Metropolitan Regional
           Comprehensive Plan, 2005

Housing is a basic element of a community’s
        economic health and growth.
• Maintain & promote revitalization of existing residential
                 neighborhoods & villages.
       Encourage pedestrian-oriented, residential
     neighborhoods that foster a sense of community.
    Accommodate housing opportunities for a range of
             income levels & age groups.
    Pottstown Economic Development
           Strategic Plan, March 2008
                                by Gannett Fleming
           Encourage revitalization of neighborhoods
        Provide broad range of housing choices,

    including market rate, owner-occupied housing
   Form non-profit Borough Housing Corporation
             to lead housing initiatives
   Provide financial incentives & other support to
     encourage rehabilitation & homeownership
                          Pottstown, PA:
                Transformation Strategies
               Urban Land Institute, October 2009
       Expand market choices for new housing &
               revitalize existing housing
   The creative class, households without children
     & other nonconventional households do not
       want to move into neighborhoods that are
      beginning to decay, appear to be empty, or
             have the perception of crime.
      An aggressive neighborhood stabilization
    partnership should be established immediately.    14
Washington Street Neighborhood
      Action Plan Update (2010)
           • Improve housing stock

                • Reduce crime

 • Revitalize deteriorated section of Pottstown

             • Community building

     • Development of affordable housing

• Education of consumers on housing & financial
        Genesis Housing Corporation

       County-wide non-profit active in Pottstown
                   Rehabilitates housing
   Provides financial counseling & homeownership
           for low/mod-income households
                   Excellent track record
       Sale prices dictated by government funding
         Genesis-CLT Partnership
     Genesis to provide technical assistance to CLT

                  CLT to fill in gaps
   rehab properties outside Genesis model
   sell market-rate units, where possible
   undertake commercial/economic development
   provide opportunities for citizen involvement     17
     More Potential Partnerships
   Borough                           PMMC

   School District                   Pottstown Arts & Cultural
   PAID/Chamber
                                      Pottstown Garden Club
   Montgomery County
                                      Pottstown SCORE
   Genesis Housing Corp.
                                      Buildings Industries
   PDIDA                              Exchange/ACE mentor
   Montgomery County                 Faith communities
    Community College

   The Hill School                   Financial institutions & local
   Health & Wellness Foundation      Real estate community
                                      And more….
                     A Community Land Trust
                             For Pottstown

           Currently exploring formal partnership with Preservation
                     Pottstown, an existing, local 501(c)(3).
       By-laws include acquisition & ownership of properties;

    support efforts to improve residential, non-residential & public
        spaces in Pottstown; support economic development
       CLT invited to next meeting on January 13, 2011 for formal
     National Community Land Trust Network provides free
    manuals, model ground leases, accounting manuals, on-line
              courses & other field-tested resources                   19
                Permanent CLT Board
The “classic” structure for a CLT Board of
            Directors includes:
                • CLT homeowners (1/3)

        Members of the community-at-large (1/3)

        Representatives from community partners,
            including local government (1/3)

   Site Control

        Money
                            Site Control
Having control of some properties in
  distressed areas is essential for
   stabilization & redevelopment.
        Properties can come from:

   Borough & County blighted inventory
                Sheriff’s sales
                Foreclosures
                       Sources of Funding
           Seed money essential for initial,
                 high-visibility projects.
              • Federal, state, county programs
                                Foundations
                    Local Financial institutions
                               Private donors
       Fostering partnerships to bring more dollars to the
   Some funds will revolve back to CLT as properties are
              sold & put back onto tax rolls.                 23
                            CLT & Taxes
        Nonprofit does not mean “no taxes”!
        CLT is a problem-solving community
       Several possibilities exist for taxing
    limited-equity homes and CLT-owned land
    Responsible & equitable taxation method
    to be worked out in partnership with taxing
                                 Ultimate Goals
   Put blighted properties back on tax rolls
              Increase homeownership
        Increase community involvement
                        Reduce crime
                            Create jobs
        Attract market-rate homeowners &
           businesses back to Pottstown
                  Improve fiscal outlook         25
                       Next Steps

Community       Land


We need you…

… to put the pieces together!


           Dave Garner
            Chris Huff
          David Jackson
            Sue Repko