FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Parker, Northwest Montana Community Land Trust
COLUMBIA FALLS, MT, APRIL 22, 2020 – The City of Columbia Falls is investing $120,000 to provide affordable homeownership opportunities with the Northwest Montana Community Land Trust (NWMTCLT). On April 6th, the City Council approved an MOU to provide federal HOME program income to the NWMTCLT.
The NWMTCLT currently has 54 homes in the City of Kalispell. The agreement with the City of Columbia Falls presents the first expansion outside of Kalispell for the NWMTCLT. The need for affordable homeownership opportunities in Columbia Falls is large and growing. The median home price in Columbia Falls has increased 33% (Zillow Home Value Index) in the last five years, while the median household income in Flathead County has only increased 3% (US Census Bureau).
The NWMTCLT is currently seeking property to purchase within the City of Columbia Falls. Homes are expected to be available to purchase in late 2020.
The mission of the Northwest Montana Community Land Trust is to provide permanently affordable ownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families in Northwest Montana.
Founded in 2010, NWMTCLT provides affordable housing using the community land trust (CLT) model. Under the CLT model, the homebuyer owns the home, while NWMTCLT retains ownership of the land upon which the home is located. A 75-year ground lease is executed between the homebuyer and NWMTCLT, which ensures that the home will resale at an affordable rate and allows the homeowner opportunities that would be lost while renting. They can plant a garden, choose their own paint colors, have a dog and a barbeque in the backyard, enjoy the equity and appreciation of their house over time, and leave their home to their heirs.
The NWMTCLT is governed by a volunteer board of directors that includes community leaders, public officials, and CLT homeowners. Land trust homeowners are also members of the organization, with the rights and responsibilities inherent in that capacity. Their representation and active participation on the board of directors is vital to the success of the NWMTCLT and creates community control and accountability.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Brian Parker at 509-675-0489, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.