A community land trust for pottstown
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Steering Committee Jerry Nugent, Kathy Phifer, Jason Bobst, Judy Memberg, Dave Garner, Chris Huff, David Jackson, Sue Repko December 20, 2010. A Community Land Trust for Pottstown. A nonprofit model for: Community involvement & partnerships Increased homeownership

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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

A Community Land Trust for Pottstown

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.”

What is a CLT?

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

History of CLTs

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.)

Pottstown’s Housing Crisis

A community land trust for pottstown

  • 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.

Affordable Homeownership

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.

Neighborhood Stabilization

A vision for old chestnut street playground

  • Before

A Vision for Old Chestnut Street Playground


Economic development

  • CLT can serve as land bank

  • CLT can partner with County Redevelopment Authority

  • CLT can own, lease & sell commercial property

  • CLT can create job incubator, market properties for artists, sell properties at market rates & more

  • CLTs create local construction jobs

Economic Development

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

The experts have spoken

A community land trust for pottstown

  • 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

Technical MemorandumProgram Initiatives to Support Core District Redevelopment Plan Urban Partners, March 2003

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 Metropolitan Regional Comprehensive Plan, 2005

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 Economic Development Strategic Plan, March 2008by Gannett Fleming

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.

Pottstown, PA: Transformation Strategies Urban Land Institute, October 2009

A community land trust for pottstown

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 issues

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 regulations

Genesis Housing Corporation

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 projects

  • provide opportunities for citizen involvement

Genesis-CLT Partnership

More potential partnerships

  • Borough

  • School District

  • PAID/Chamber

  • Montgomery County

  • Genesis Housing Corp.


  • Montgomery County Community College

  • The Hill School

  • Health & Wellness Foundation


Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance

Pottstown Garden Club

Pottstown SCORE

Buildings Industries Exchange/ACE mentor program

Faith communities

Financial institutions & local businesses

Real estate community

And more….

More Potential Partnerships

A community land trust for pottstown1

  • 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 activities.

  • CLT invited to next meeting on January 13, 2011 for formal presentation

  • National Community Land Trust Network provides free manuals, model ground leases, accounting manuals, on-line courses & other field-tested resources

A Community Land TrustFor Pottstown

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)

Permanent CLT Board

Nuts and bolts

  • 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

Site Control

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 community.

  • Some funds will revolve back to CLT as properties are sold & put back onto tax rolls.

Sources of Funding

Clt taxes

  • Nonprofit does not mean “no taxes”!

  • CLT is a problem-solving community organization

  • Several possibilities exist for taxing limited-equity homes and CLT-owned land

  • Responsible & equitable taxation method to be worked out in partnership with taxing bodies

CLT & Taxes

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

Ultimate Goals

Next steps

Next Steps




We need you

We need you…

To put the pieces together

… to put the pieces together!

Pottstown community land trust

  • Dave Garner

  • Chris Huff

  • David Jackson

  • Sue Repko

  • www.PottstownCLT.wordpress.com

  • [email protected]


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