MCLT Community Land Trust Frequently Asked Questions

A community land trust is a private non-profit corporation created to acquire and hold land for the benefit of a community and to provide secure affordable access to land and housing for community residents. In particular, CLTs attempt to meet the needs of residents who are locked out of the homeownership market. They do this by selling homes to eligible buyers at a below-market price, and in exchange for that reduced price, the owner agrees to restrict the price for which they may sell that home in the future.

The lease says you can sell your house for what you paid for it plus 1.25% simple interest for each year you own your home, but no more than the appraised value. If you purchased your home for $69,000, when you sell, you can earn up to $862 for every year you owned your home.

For example, if you buy your home for $69,000, and live there for 10 years, the most you will be able to sell your house for will be $77,625, including $8,620 in appreciation. In addition, you will have paid down your loan or mortgage with your monthly mortgage payments, and you will get that money as well. Exactly how much you will get depends on the interest rate of your mortgage, making your payments on time, etc.

Yes, you can leave your home to whomever you choose. If you leave it to your spouse, your child or someone who was living in the house for at least the year before you pass, they can own and occupy your house without being income eligible. If you still have a mortgage when you pass, your heir will have to refinance that debt, just like any house. If you leave your home to someone else, they either have to be income eligible to take ownership, or if they are not eligible or choose not to live in the house, MCLT will facilitate the sale of your house to an eligible buyer and your heir gets the money from the sale.

Yes, you own the house and can make changes to it as you see fit. However, if you want to increase the square footage or build an addition, you will need to get approval from MCLT first.

Since you have sole and exclusive use of the land, you are responsible for the taxes on both the land and the house. The MCLT is working with the City of Milwaukee Assessor to have your house taxed at the resale rate, not the market rate, which could save a lot of money. This is common practice for CLTs across the nation.

No, the CLT home will not negatively affect your property value. The CLT home is being sold intentionally below market and since the property is a leasehold property, appraisers can see that it was sold below market and is not comparable to other market-based transactions.

The Milwaukee Community Land Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit membership based corporation. We raise private and public funds to pay our staff, and we are governed by a volunteer board of directors. All of our homeowners are automatically members, and any other resident of the City of Milwaukee can join and become a member of MCLT by paying a $1 membership fee each year.
The MCLT Board of Directors consists of:

  • 1/3 General Representatives – people with a particular expertise who are interested in supporting our work.
  • 1/3 Community Members – residents of the City of Milwaukee and the neighborhoods in which we work who are interested in supporting our work.
  • 1/3 Homeowner Members – people who own homes on MCLT land who are interested in supporting our work. Since we don’t currently have any homeowners, these seats are currently filled by people who can represent the interests of a Homeowner.

Board terms are staggered, so each year at the annual meeting members vote to
elect any new board members necessary to fill any empty board seats.
Homeowner board members are elected by Homeowner members. The other
board members are elected by the general membership – people like you!