Off the coast of Washington an island has been developed in a very unique way. Instead of tract housing or McMansions, the developers used economical, environmentally conscious, and socially sustainable principles to create the Lopez Community Land Trust to combat rising housing prices which prevent teachers, health care workers and other lower income folks to have access to the island. The 11 homes are built a small footprint, solar house design, solar water heating and rain water catchment for toilets, washing machines and gardens. The homes are power from a 34 KW photovoltaic system and use passive means to heat and cool the homes.
In addition to the homes, there is office spaces, two apartments for guest, public green spaces and gardens. All this within a short walk of each other and all this including the land (prime island real estate) was done for 3.5 million! Its so fascinating to see how much can be done with very little money. At $320 per home, which isn’t that much considering the average home in America right now is about $250k. (I don’t know how many offices, but houses, offices, solar, apartments and land were all done for 3.5 million). Here is what LCLT has to say about their community:
What is a Community Land Trust?
A community land trust is a private non-profit corporation created to acquire and hold land for the benefit of a community and provide secure affordable access to land and housing for community residents. CLTs prohibit speculation of land and housing, promote ecologically sound land-use practices, and preserve the long-term affordability of improvements on the land. A Community Land Trust is a democratically structured, community based non-profit corporation, designed to strike a fair balance between individual and community interests. The purpose of the CLT is to acquire land and remove it from the speculative, for-profit market. The land is made available to individual families, cooperatives, and/or other organizations through long-term leases. CLT’s combine the best features of private and community ownership. Residents have some essential benefits of home ownership: lifetime security, a limited fair equity for their investment, and a legacy for their descendants.