Evergreen Habitat for Humanity program targets affordable housing crisis

As the housing crisis has deepened in recent years, the organization has begun to think about ways to not only create more affordable housing options, but also preserve those options in perpetuity.

When Townsley joined Habitat 12 years ago, the organization was able to buy homes for $20,000 to $30,000. Now those same homes are worth between $130,000 and $170,000, he said. “The homes we would have bought last year are now worth 12-15% more this year just because of market appreciation,” he said.

To find a solution, the organization began working with Habitat affiliates, the City of Vancouver and others. From these collaborations was born the Habitat Home Trust.

“We are essentially using a community land trust model where Habitat will create an LLC (limited liability company), so to speak, where that LLC will own the Johnson Village lands and all of our building projects going forward. “, said Cochrun.

Homeowners will own their homes, but Habitat will continue to own the land the homes sit on. If a family decides to move, they can sell their home and still have equity to build generational wealth, Cochrun said.

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