Building long-term growth strategies using land trustsBy Administrator
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) has been focused on housing, vacant properties, and community response to land use since its inception. Dudley Neighbors Inc. (DNI) was created to address neighborhood property concerns. Through certifications it received, DNI was able to use the power of eminent domain to repurpose abandoned, vacant city-owned property and gain control of its use. The first priority of the community was building affordable housing.
Through DNI, 225 affordable housing units have been built. The use of land trusts is one effective way to control land use. In terms of affordable housing, the land trust owns the land where the property is built and issues a 99-year lease on the property. Built into sales agreements are land use preservation clauses to ensure that the property remains affordable housing. Units are purchased individually at a discount, since the Land Trust owns the land and discounts the cost of the land on the purchase. They also often will limit a subsequent sale price to a certain % above the last sale price, to ensure the property remains affordable while the previous owners still reap some benefits of first-time home ownership.
Land trusts are also used to protect open lands, ecological preserves, forest tracks, and, in the Dudley Street neighborhood, two community spaces. Using land trusts to protect property use in the neighborhood is another value that DSNI adds to the Dudley Street community.