2037 cpzSPRINGFIELD – In collaboration with the 20th District Housing Policy Roundtable, a new initiative led by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas that would foster the study of  community land trusts, or non-profit organizations offering alternative options for homeownership and affordable housing, has passed the Senate and is under consideration in the House, putting it one step closer to becoming law. 

“While residents of present community land trusts have seen their positive impact, we have not been able to fully measure the net benefits these organizations have had on folks facing inaccessible housing and gentrification,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “This task force will provide concrete evidence for how community land trusts help those experiencing housing insecurity and displacement will inform more cities and towns the benefits for communities that adopt these programs. The hope is we can grow and support these programs using data, findings, and best practices of current land trusts to add another option for affordable housing in our state.” 

Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit organizations focused on creating homes that remain permanently affordable, providing successful homeownership opportunities for generations of families with limited access to economic resources. Families or individuals buy a house but lease the land the house is on from the CLT in a long-term renewable lease that keeps the home at an affordable price. While these trusts have provided many people with access to affordable housing, this Task Force will give the state the information it needs to truly leverage CLTs as an effective strategy for preserving long-term affordable housing.

Senate Bill 2037 would create a task force made up of representatives from community land trusts, professors and education specialists in housing, and elected officials to collect data regarding the current use of community land trusts in Illinois and opportunities for expansion statewide. The Task Force will also study the tools needed to maximize the impact of CLTs on housing affordability, stability, and closing the racial wealth gap. The goal is to gather directives and best practices that ensure the programs can maximize their impact.  After a year of research, the task force will submit a final report with specific legislative and budget recommendations to the governor and General Assembly by Dec. 31, 2024. 

“A community land trust task force will help us identify opportunities to create affordable homeownership in diverse markets, create opportunities for generational wealth, close racial wealth gaps and complement the state’s portfolio of affordable housing strategies with the potential to save the state money." said Christian Diaz from Palenque LSNA, a community-based organization building power for education, immigration, and housing equity, particularly in the Avondale, Hermosa, and Logan Square neighborhoods of Chicago.

“As part of a community that has been hit hard by gentrification, I know firsthand how disruptive it can be to families and communities that have been part of our neighborhoods for decades,” Pacione-Zayas said. “This initiative will record the positive impact of community land trusts for increasing affordable housing and will hopefully inspire more neighborhoods to adopt this system to combat gentrification and allow more Illinoisians to stay wherever they call home.” 

Senate Bill 2037 passed the Senate on March 29. It now goes to the Housing Committee in the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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