FAQ ABOUT NWLT
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to qualify to buy a home from the Near West Community Land Trust (NWLT) program, you must earn less than 120% of areawide median income which varies based on your household size. Income is based on the household’s gross annual income, and all individuals 18+ years living in the home must supply income documentation. The income limits for household size are as follows:
2021 Income Limits IN US DOLLARS
What are the benefits of Community Land Trusts?
Housing: Support permanently affordable housing. CLT secures more financial resources by pooling public and private resources to the benefit of tenants and homeowners.
Providing Jobs: Provide jobs by developing vacant and underutilized space to make it available to small businesses and non-profits by requiring local business to hire local.
Open Opinion: CLT's gives the community a say in how public resources are used and how their neighborhoods are developed. Using a democratically-inspired process, community members and board make decisions based on what is best for their community.
Internalization: With CLTs, the private and public investments used to create affordability not only stay within the community but are regenerated to support additional families or tenants, furthering the reach and impact of the often-scarce resources.
What kind of advantages do land trusts have?
Land trusts are closely tied to the communities in which they operate.
Their nonprofit tax status brings them a variety of tax benefits.
Donations of land, conservation easements or money may qualify for income or gift tax savings.
Because CLTs are private organizations, land trusts can be more flexible and creative than public agencies–and can act more quickly–in saving land.
What if the homeowner wants to make improvements to the home?
Written consent must be given to the homeowner from NWLT board prior to any new structures being built or if the footprint of home will change in any way.
The homeowner owns any and all improvements on top of land.
The homeowner cannot remove any part of the home without NWLT written consent.
What happens if someone wants to Airbnb or rent out their home?
They must seek approval from the board, a home cannot be subleased without NWLT's Permission (article4.5 in land lease)
Land trusts are typically for owner-occupied homes, and renting is rarely approved.
How does someone build equity if they purchase a Land Trust home?
Homeowners build equity in their homes with paying f=down their mortgage principle and increases in property values; both enable homeowners to build a significant amount of equity throughout their ownership.
What does lease fee cover?($50/month)
Can be used to cover unpaid taxes by homeowner in addition to property tax increases
Repair Reserve Fund
(1.5% of 1/12thof base price of home)
Supports future repairs for the benefit of the home and leased land, the use of funds must be approved by the NWLT board.
Who pays property taxes?
The homeowner is responsible for all taxes.
Since the property is deeded affordable it will be taxed at affordable rate.
(Not the market value)
Can homeowner contest taxes?
Yes, they can appeal property taxes through the normal county procedures.
Why have some community land trusts excelled, and others failed?
"There is great variation in community land trusts across the country.
The largest, Burlington Community Land Trust in Vermont, has 370 single-family homes and condominiums and 270 rental apartment leases; other CLTs may have just a handful of units available for lease.
Some CLTs have been able to grow significantly while others have not, and some have ceased operation altogether.
There are many possible reasons for this variation in success, including staff resources and skills; differences in mission; financing arrangements; ability to receive donations of land; and the strength or weakness of the local land and housing market."
- Lincoln Institute
In short, many circumstances both within and outside the control of these land trusts has allowed some to thrive while others have not.
Near West Land Trust strives to be a successful and advantageous addition to Cleveland!