On October 20, 2014, the Essex Community Land Trust (ECLT), an organization with the mission to support the creation of high-quality, permanently affordable housing throughout the diverse municipalities of Essex County, New Jersey, proudly sold its first home, located in Bloomfield, N.J. The sale marks the first time a community land trust home has been created in New Jersey in over two decades.
The community land trust is an innovative model that creates affordable homeownership opportunities for low-and-moderate income families. Unlike traditional homeownership, the ECLT acquires and retains control of the land to guarantee long-term affordability and high-quality housing maintenance, while providing post-purchase stewardship services to ensure successful homeownership.
The home is a previously foreclosed and abandoned single-family unit, located on Carteret Street in Bloomfield, N.J. Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC), a non-profit organization that acquires vacant and abandoned properties to stabilize and revitalize communities, purchased and redeveloped the home earlier this year. CAPC partners with local community builders and contractors to rehabilitate and return properties to productive use as quality, affordable housing. Since 2009, CAPC has developed more than 300 units of affordable housing in communities across the state. “This partnership offered an important opportunity to create affordable housing and support the development of diverse, inclusive communities,” said Jeffrey Crum, Director of Real Estate at CAPC.
The home was purchased by a young family who recently graduated from the ECLT’s Financial Freedom Homebuyer’s Club (FFHC), a free monthly homeownership workshop that provides guidance on credit building, budgeting, financial literacy and investments.
“While the township of Bloomfield is currently undergoing significant redevelopments and property values are increasing, this property will remain affordable in perpetuity and will serve the housing needs of low- to- moderate income families for years to come”, said Britnee Timberlake, Founding Executive Director of ECLT. “The CLT homeownership model ensures that diverse, mixed-income neighborhoods continue to thrive and provide communities of opportunity for all New Jersey residents.”
The ECLT has more projects in its pipeline including six units becoming available for purchase in Bloomfield and another six-unit project being planned in Montclair.
“Affordable housing should be in all communities because mixed-income communities work. By scattering permanently affordable homeownership in suburban areas, we are offering upward mobility and alternative housing options for low- to moderate- income families,” said Timberlake.
About Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC)
Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC) is non-profit organization that acquires vacant properties and nonperforming mortgages in New Jersey, and partners with local community builders to convert them into affordable housing. For more information about CAPC, visit www.capcnj.org.
About Essex Community Land Trust (ECLT)
The Essex Community Land Trust supports the creation of permanent high quality affordable housing throughout the diverse municipalities of Essex County, New Jersey. For more information about ECLT, visit www.essexclt.org.