At Juniper Capital, we aim to keep you informed about recent real estate developments and relevant news impacting Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. As Northwest private money lenders, we specialize in commercial real estate loansland development loans, and more. Contact us today for more information about market trends, a current market valuation of your specific development, or any questions you may have about the real estate loan process.

We may seem fixated lately on affordable housing, but only because in the greater Seattle area this issue begs for prompt problem-solving and action. One means to easing the burden of rising housing costs is to encourage the supply of affordable housing. A community land trust (CLT) can do just that. Recently the nonprofit Sightline Institute released a study titled “The Role of Community Land Trusts in Cascadia’s Quest for Affordable Housing.” Sightline makes the case that home-ownership through a community land trust (CLT) can help low-to-middle income earners break out of the cycle of paying high rent while affording them ownership for which they might not otherwise qualify.

Here’s how a CLT works: These nonprofit, community-based organizations primarily exist to ensure long-term housing affordability, but can be used for many types of development such as retail. The CLT acquires land and permanently maintains ownership of it. For would-be homeowners, it enters into a long-term, renewable lease (usually 99 years) instead of a traditional sale. When the homeowner sells, the family earns only a portion of the increased property value, unlike in a traditional home sale. The remainder is kept by the trust, preserving the affordability for future low- to-moderate-income families.

By separating the ownership of land and housing, this innovative approach prevents market factors from causing prices to rise significantly, and ensures housing will remain affordable for future generations. The Sightline study notes that for communities under threat of displacement, CLTs can turn around a family’s fate by providing not only stable, affordable housing, but also an opportunity for wealth-building otherwise out of reach.

The study notes that CLTs first cropped up in Cascadia 45 years ago, and today the region holds more than 2,300 homes run by 18 different CLTs in urban and rural communities. Nine new Cascadian CLTs are also in the works. Will you create the next CLT? We fund such creative developments. Juniper Capital is in the business of helping real estate investors achieve their dreams through private financing. We fund projects that banks may otherwise turn away from, and structure loans in five-to-ten business days (or less), rather than five-to-ten weeks.

Thank you to our friends Tom, Dan and Sam at Colliers International for being a sponsor of Capitol Hill Housing’s recently-held fundraiser Omnivorous, a nonprofit event that advances affordable, safe, in-city housing for individuals and families (who earn between 60% and 80% of area median income), and for circulating the latest study on Community Land Trusts from the Sightline Institute. Our goal at Juniper is to help you achieve quality real estate investments–including affordable housing development–in Seattle, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and other markets. If you would like more information on this topic, call us today.