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December 22, 2021

Land trust to build 16 affordable homes in Portland

The Greater Portland Community Land Trust, a nonprofit working to create homes for low- to moderate-income families, will build 16 affordable homes in Portland on city-owned land near the Back Cove trail and Payson Park.

The homes, at 21 Randall St., will be close to downtown Portland and major transit routes so that working families can be close to where they work. 

The roughly $4.4 million to $4.8 million development will be the largest housing land trust project in the state, said Scott Vonnegut, chairman of the Greater Portland Community Land Trust. 

What sets the project apart from other affordable housing projects is that the homes will be sold to families, rather than rented, he said. To reduce costs for the homeowners, the homes are built to passive house standards, added Tim Wells, a member of the land trust board and the project's lead developer. 

“This is a more sustainable way to keep housing affordable and for families to have the benefits of pride of ownership which has been shown to increase academic achievement in kids and socio-economic benefit to adults,” Wells said. 

The housing crunch and the pandemic has made it more difficult for families to afford homes in cities such as Portland.

Michelle Amato, a teacher at Portland Public Schools, said she has been looking for a home she can afford to buy in the same community where she works. 

“Teaching and living in the same neighborhood is important not only because I get to know my community, but to my community, because they get to know me,” Amato said. 

The price tag on the homes was not immediately available.

Greater Portland Community Land Trust said it started a capital campaign to help support the building of the 16 homes and soon will be launching a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign.

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December 26, 2021

The homes are sold at below cost through a one time subsidy. The homes will be sole at roughly 50% of current market value. The subsidy per unit is very low and only one time. The owners pay property tax which will bring in an extra $80-$100K in revenue to the City. The homes will remain affordable forever as they are deed restricted. This model provides a much higher ROI (return on investment) than other affordable housing models and gives pride of ownership and the modest accumulation of savings to families. It is a win/win.

December 22, 2021

$4.8 mil divided by 16 homes is $300,000 ea. Affordable??

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