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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

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
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
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
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

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
  • 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
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




pottstown community land trust