A Local Community Land Trust
NeahCasa is incorporated as a tax exempt 501c3 Community Land Trust (CLT), as of January 2008. This means that NeahCasa is structured to hold land for houses in trust FOREVER for the benefit of the community. A CLT takes land cost out of the equation in perpetuity. We can either:
- Continue to own the house and makes it available for an affordable rental OR
- “Sell” the house via a 99 year ground lease to someone in the community. The ground lease can be renewed for an additional 99 years. It is inheritable and gives homeowners virtually the same bundle of ownership rights as market-ownership with certain resale restrictions. Any increase in equity shared between the homeowner and the trust.
Because NeahCasa would own the property under the house in perpetuity, it keeps the land out of the rising real estate market. Only the house can be sold and the terms of that resale are controlled by the trust. Thus the trust will preserve affordability for future buyers without requiring additional subsidies.
Click here for more information about CLT’s in general and how they work. There are almost 200 of them nationwide and several in Oregon.
NeahCasa does not at this time have any land or houses in Trust, and indeed has never activated its CLT status (i.e., set up membership meetings, etc.) However, it remains an option for future houses and/or land should the circumstances or funding, interest & property arise.
How We Got There - Thanks to a $5000 grant from the US Bank Foundation, we were able to work with the Community Development Law Center from Portland to adapt existing CLT templates to create its organizational structure and ownership patterns and agreements. PDF versions of our organizing papers and 501c3 application are available on this website.
Capacity Building: For two years our board members and other volunteers have attended CLT trainings and the CLT regional and national conferences, thanks to scholarships, a training grant from the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County, a capacity building grant from US Bank, and private donations - not to mention people's in-kind contribution of time. Volunteers contributed over 2000 hours in 2007 alone. It’s been a steep learning curve but the CLT community has been generous in its support and the sharing of its resources and experience.
Geographical Boundaries - While our primary interest and focus is on the Nehalem Bay area, we are open to including all of Tillamook County and maybe even the whole North Coast within our scope so others don’t have to go to the trouble of starting their own trust. We've recently learned that it is possible that a separate Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) can be formed within the CLT structure to give other localities within a regional CLT some degree of autonomy and protection of assets. Contact us if you live in a nearby community and want to explore the possibilities.
Potential Homeowners – There would be an agreement between the Trust and the homeowner about improvements, upkeep standards, and resale. Typically homeowners can recover their equity (including any improvements made) and realize a portion (typically 25%) of any increase in market value in the resale of the house. The land itself remains in the ownership of the Trust in perpetuity. We have a preliminary application and training process in place so contact us to get on the list.
Helping with Land Purchase - NeahCasa is also open to individuals who are interested in helping the Trust purchase land in partnership with potential homeowners. Donations of funds and/or property to get us up and running, of course, would be ideal – and a Godsend.
We are also open to working from the model used in the purchase of Alder Creek Farm for the Lower Nehalem Community Trust where five private individuals purchased that conservancy property in 2002 for $200,000. They then held it for two years until LNCT could raise the money through grants and donations to purchase it from them. In that case the investors chose not to receive interest on their funds. However, NeahCasa envisions creating arrangements where investors would make a reasonable return on their investments.
All contributions to NeahCasa are tax deductible.
Checks can be mailed to: NeahCasa, P.O. Box 766, Manzanita, OR 97130.
For Further Information about Community Land Trusts in general or attending an organization meeting or other Upcoming Events:
- Want to talk to a real live person? Contact one of the NeahCasa CLT experts:
Tom Bender (503-368-6294), Edith Rohde (503-368-3906), or Eunice Massie (503-368-4142).