The land trust, a nonprofit created in November, would acquire properties from the city and in turn would enter into a 99-year lease with property owners. The trust would own the land, but homeowners would own the structures. Trust officials say that makes the housing more affordable while allowing for more income diversity in neighborhoods.
“Land trusts are a really effective tool for preserving affordability in a neighborhood so you have the mixed-income neighborhoods,” said Nicholas Feucht, a special assistant to Richmond’s deputy chief administrative officer for economic development and planning.
The Maggie Walker land trust hopes to be active in Church Hill and eventually branch out into other neighborhoods across the city.