Columbia affordable housing project is moving forward

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COLUMBIA – The Community Land Trust Organization Board is set to meet Wednesday to discuss further developments on the Lynn Street Cottages project near the corner of Lynn Street and North Garth Avenue.

The Columbia Community Land Trust, or CCLT, is a nonprofit, community-based program with a goal to provide affordable housing for low-income families and homes, according to its statement on Columbia’s website.The Lynn Street Cottages are the CCLT’s first project and Housing Programs Supervisor Randy Cole said this project’s roots are at the core of the organization's mission.

“The main charge of this organization is to create and be the stewards of affordable housing,” Cole said. “The purpose of [this model] will be to make sure that whenever [a home] goes to resale, that all that hard work we put to getting that price down to an affordable rate stays affordable for the next buyers.”

The CCLT will focus on providing these affordable homes to low income families at 80 percent, or below, the area median income, according to CCLT's request for proposal document. The document details the current 80 percent Area Median Income in the area and an income range as it relates to household size. For example, a household size of one would warrant an average income of around $41,650 and a household of eight would warrant an average income of $78,550. 

CCLT will look to release a request for proposals to get bids to local contractors to put solar panel systems on the roofs. The seven homes that make up the cottages will include active solar panels on each of the seven homes to reduce emissions and cost. Cole noted the potential future impact continues to drive him and his team. 

“We are excited because we are creating something that will last beyond my lifetime and beyond the lifetime of everyone involved in the project,” Cole said. “We expect to do many more projects throughout the city as we are moving forward.”

Four of the seven houses are projected to be completed by March or April of 2018. The last three homes are expected to be completed by the summer of 2018.