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Real Estate

Richmond celebrates first Community Land Trust Homeowner

Earlier this week, the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) welcomed their first community land trust homeowner in a simple key ceremony on 26th Street. This is the first home in Richmond built and sold under the land trust model, intended to remain affordable for future generations of homeowners.

Using the community land trust model, MWCLT will retain ownership of the land beneath the house. This allowed the home to be sold at a lower price to an income-qualified (50 – 115% of Area Median Income) buyer. A land trust home provides an affordable alternative to renting – allowing the home-owner to benefit from the wealth-building opportunities that homeownership provides.

In exchange for buying the house at a lower price, [the homeowner] has agreed to “pay it forward.” When she sells the house, she will receive half of the appreciation value (the difference between the market value at the time of purchase and at the time of sale). The remaining equity stays with the house and keeps the home affordable for the next buyer.

“We are focused on neighborhoods, like Church Hill, where real estate prices are rising rapidly,” explains Laura Lafayette, founding Chair of MWCLT. “We believe that preserving affordable housing in perpetuity is crucial for ensuring that neighborhoods stay diverse and vibrant for generations to come.”

“I’m excited to welcome Chanel, our first community land trust homeowner, to the East End/7th District,” said Richmond 7th District Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille to those gathered for the ceremony. “In the midst of our rapid neighborhood revitalization, we sought an affordable home ownership opportunity, like the land trust, that would benefit our community and indeed our City, by ensuring the availability of quality affordable housing for families for generations to come. Welcome Home, Chanel!”

David Belde, Senior Vice President of Mission Services at Bon Secours Richmond Health System agrees. “We believe that homes are foundational for healthy living and healthy communities.  Bon Secours is proud to partner with the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust, and looks forward to seeing the benefits that this tool for affordable housing and wealth building will have for years to come. Our investment, and that of other critical partners, is helping a family and this neighborhood realize their full potential and we are fortunate to play a part in this work.”

“Maggie Walker Community Land Trust is bridging a gap,” says Chanel, “and I think it will be a success.” Chanel will be working to ensure that MWCLT fulfills its full potential when she joins the Board of Directors in 2018.

The 1680 square foot, 3 bedroom home was built through a partnership with project:HOMES, and funded, in part, by Bon Secours Richmond Health System.

Moving forward, MWCLT is building three more homes in Church Hill with Project:HOMES and Bon Secours and two homes on the Northside. Additional rehabilitated homes in the Maymont and Randolph neighborhoods should be available in early 2018.

The Maggie Walker Community Land Trust is the second community land trust in Virginia, and the only community land trust in Richmond. For more information visit To find out how to become a MWCLT homeowner, contact Nikki D’Adamo-Damery, Community Coordinator, at or 804-986-9213.

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