What is Chelan Valley Housing Trust?
Chelan Valley Housing Trust is a 501-c3 nonprofit housing developer whose mission is to provide quality homes to local wage earners in the Chelan Manson area.
Why was CVHT formed?
The Lake Chelan valley has a housing crisis. Most of our area’s workforce can no longer afford to live here. CVHT was formed to solve this problem through the community land trust model.
So what exactly is a Community Land Trust (CLT) and what does it do?
CLTs acquire, own and steward land for the common good. The most common CLT land use is housing. Here’s how it works: The CLT builds a home using one-time public or private investment, then sells the home to a local wage earners who has obtained a lending product to purchase the home. The CLT keeps the land, holding it in trust for future generations of home buyers. In return for being able to buy a home at a discounted price the buyer agrees to “pay it forward” and sell to another income qualified local family at a price they can afford. The CLT manages the sale process ensuring that owners increase their wealth building capacity while also allowing another income qualified buyer to afford the home at resale. In this way the one-time investment in CLT homes makes lasting attainability a reality. This has a stabilizing effect on communities and helps to build stronger, safer and high-quality diverse neighborhoods which in turn contribute to greater educational attainment, employment opportunities and health outcomes.
Who is eligible to purchase a CVHT home?
Anyone who lives or works in Chelan or Manson, makes under 110% Area Median Income, and does not have excessive assets is eligible for a CVHT home. Other requirements are ability to acquire a loan and take first time homebuyer trainings and CVHT will help the purchaser navigate the loan process and these trainings.
How are we able to build attainable homes?
We build developments by leveraging community land and cash donations. (land donations cut costs by roughly 1/3). Smaller, efficient home design lowers our building costs. In-kind donations from contractors are sometimes used where appropriate. Partnering with other nonprofits and seeking accommodations from local governmental agencies also help make our homes more attainable. Grant writing and fundraising events contribute to the cash subsidies for our developments.
Why not just build apartments?
It’s true that solving the affordable housing crisis requires all types of housing, including apartments for sure! We’ve chosen to build CLT homes for ownership because it provides secure housing and wealth building potential for our local wage earners who are drastically underserved by the current market. HUD rental assistance programs and other private and public housing types are working consistently to meet the need for rentals and other housing options, CVHT aims to fill a gap that is not otherwise filled, average income homes for ownership. This also helps alleviate affordable rentals in our town because when someone moves into a CVHT home, an affordable rental opens up. CVHT is not opposed to rentals and many CLTs do have tenant managed rentals (providing equity building for the income qualified manager) however this is too big an undertaking for CVHT at this time. Once our capacity is larger, we will revisit and we welcome your input.
When will the next homes be ready for purchase?
We aim to have homes for pre-sale at Chelan River Heights by 2023.