Preserving long-term affordability in the housing market is a critical part of ensuring Salt Lake City can remain a “City for Everyone”, even as we continue to grow and diversify.
As part of her 5-year housing plan, known as Growing SLC, Mayor Biskupski has proposed the creation of a Community Land Trust (CLT)—a mechanism which preserves affordable housing in perpetuity by placing some land into a City administered trust.
Homes built on CLT property can be sold to individuals or families at an affordable price, because homebuyers would be purchasing only the home and not the land. The homeowners—many of whom would not be able to purchase a home otherwise—would earn equity in their home at an established rate that would keep the home affordable when they are ready to sell.
“The Community Land Trust model ensures that someone like a school teacher can purchase a home today, care for it, earn equity, and then sell it years later at a price another teacher could still afford,” said Melissa Jensen, Director of Salt Lake City’s Division of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND).
Community Land Trusts have been successfully demonstrated in cities around the country, and have been shown to improve home value. CLTs also ensure that affordable housing stock does not fall into disrepair, as the City remains invested in the individual properties, along with homeowners.
Pending approval from the City Council, six properties around Salt Lake City would be initially placed into the Community Land Trust, with the program expanding over the next several years.
HAND will also utilize its Housing Innovation Lab to bring unique, energy saving design to each home built—providing families another opportunity to save money. HAND demonstrated this type of design with the Emery House, which was completed in 2016.
Another goal would be to maximize the land by adding accessory dwelling units (ADU’s)—sometimes known as “granny flats”—which would provide additional opportunity for housing and potential rental income for the new homeowners. ADUs are not currently allowed by City code, but are include as a recommendation in Growing SLC.
“As our City continues to grow, and gentrify, the Community Land Trust will ensure there are always spaces of housing opportunity in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “Ultimately, we are focused on people and building a City where everyone can thrive and find a place to call home.”