Compounding Interests, Compounding Inequities


Douglass Community Land Trust

Washington, DC

The Douglass Community Land Trust (Douglass CLT) is advancing a new approach across the Douglass Commonwealth / DC to prevent displacement of current and future residents, create community-held assets, and build assets for individuals and families, while ensuring decision-making resides within the community. As an independent, nonprofit membership organization centered around racial and economic equity, Douglass CLT works create and secure the lasting affordability of rental and ownership housing (as well as local small business) through community ownership of land and collective stewardship.

Partnering with residents and mission-driven developers, Douglass CLT secures the nonstop affordability of residential and commercial spaces primarily by acquiring ownership of the land underlying the building and leasing the land back to the owner of the structure with a permanent covenant stipulating nonstop affordability. Property may be donated, purchased, or Douglass CLT may provide equity to fill an affordability gap in exchange for receiving ownership of the land and/or a covenant ensuring permanent affordability. A resale formula enables the seller to receive a fair return for their investment, while giving subsequent buyers fair access to a home or commercial space at an affordable price. In all cases, Douglass CLT provides ongoing, tailored stewardship services to safeguard, build, and strengthen community assets as well as individual household assets. Douglass CLT’s governance structure reinforces community control, with members voting on fundamental corporate decisions, including electing the board of directors, comprised of one-third each lessee members, general members, and technical professionals.

The CLT shared equity or “Pay It Forward” model allows each generation of people, who otherwise could not afford it, to rent, own, or do business in the District, balancing wealth creation and affordability. The approach will specifically benefit black, low-income residents of DC who have contributed to, yet not benefitted from the overall vibrancy and economic prosperity of the region.

Lake Anne

Reston, VA

Our New Lake Anne project located in the Lake Anne Village area of Reston, VA. ECD partnered with the Fellowship Square Foundation to replace 240 units of existing Senior housing in new state of the art eight-story building. 100% of the units will be built to universal design standards to allow seniors to age in place and more than 50% of the first floor area will be dedicated to on site amenity space to connect residents to each other. The resident population is extremely culturally diverse, including Chinese, Korean, Iranian, African American and Hispanic seniors all who would otherwise be unable to find affordable housing in Reston. The creative financing for the project 4% tac credits and tax exempt bond financing supported by moving four existing project based subsidy contracts from the existing Lake Anne senior buildings to the new building . The capital stack also uses the proceeds from the sale of residual land to help subsidize the new building. Market rate for sale townhomes will be built on this residual land. Key partners include the Fellowship Square Foundation, Virginia Housing and Fairfax County.

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