Local non-profit giving low income families a chance at home ownership

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COLUMBIA- Property on Lynn Street, previously owned by the City of Columbia, will now be transfered to the Columbia Community Land Trust.

The Columbia Community Land Trust is a non-profit orginization that assist in providing affordable housing to people with low to moderate incomes. The City Council formed this orginization in September, and appointed board members in November.

Families will be able to own their homes, but they will lease the land from the Land Trust. This is in an effort to keep the prices lower when homes are resold.

Lots were vacant where these new homes will stand. The city has graded the lots and already put in a new sewer system that will help those who move in. 

Street lights and underground electrial work has already been put into place also, which will also benefit those moving into these new homes. 

Randy Cole, who is the Housing Programs Supervisor, is excited for this new project and ready to help the community.

"Applicants will have to be at 80% or below the area median income. So what that translates to is a household of one cant make more than $38,000 gross annual income. A househould of four, the threshhold will be $53,000 gross income."

The designs have not yet been set in stone, but all homes will be three bedroom, 2 bathroom, and come with a garage.

The total cost for the first four cottages will be about $600,000, and will run buyers from $95,000 to $105,000.

The orginization will provide resources to the buyers. 

These resources range from training on home ownership, meetings with local lenders and meeting with attorneys on what it means to own a home and be apart of the program.

One Columbia resident, who wishes not to be named, told KOMU-8 that she believes this is a step in the right direction.

"I think this will be good for the neighborhood and the area. We need more affordable homes in this area, and it is important that they are pushing people toward owning a home and not just renting them." she said.

The Columbia Community Land Trust will own all land, but the home will be owned by the buyers. 

Cole said this will help both the first time buyer, and it will assist in making sure the home is affordable for the next buyer.