The Decatur Land Trust, Inc. (DLT) will host the first Community Outreach and Education sessions on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at Legacy Park Decatur, at 500 S. Columbia Dr., Decatur, Ga 30030. Two sessions will be held to accommodate as many attendees as possible who may be interested in an alternative path to affordable homeownership within the City of Decatur.
The first two DLT projects, Cottage Court and Park 108 are projected to be completed by the summer of 2023 and ready to be sold to the first income-qualified households. Attendance at one of the organization’s Community Outreach and Education sessions is one of the first steps required to be eligible to purchase a DLT property. Attendees will learn the fundamentals of how a community land trust home purchase works, and eligibility requirements, and receive resource information for financing and down payment assistance options.
“As a 25-year nonprofit veteran, I have never felt more passionate about the work that I’m doing through the Decatur Land Trust. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs puts things like food and shelter as a base level need, that if not accomplished, a person is unable to feel safe or secure in their environment. I have worked for now two decades doing community work and I can say I have never seen a crisis as far-reaching and with such devastating consequences as the current housing crisis,” says DaVena Jordan, Executive Director, Decatur Land Trust.
DaVena Jordan, MPA is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director for the DLT. Jordan is a former Oakhurst neighbor who attempted to purchase her family’s forever home inside the city limits in 2020, but like many other college-educated, hard-working middle-income families, was priced out of the market.
The Decatur Land Trust was created in 2019 and incorporated in 2021 as an independent, non-profit corporation with 501(c)3 status. In 2020, the City of Decatur Affordable Housing Task Force completed its work and recommended building and funding the capacity of the DLT to purchase and develop affordable homes as an independent nonprofit.
The DLT now exists to help income-qualified households become homebuyers that otherwise could not access an affordable house on the open market. DLT homes stay affordable permanently for generation after generation of homeowners, and the house can never be ‘flipped.’ In exchange for this access to buy a cheap house in our restrictive, unaffordable market, the DLT requires that if the homeowner ever wants to resell their home, it can only be resold to another income-qualified household for an affordable price.
“In the current intown Atlanta market, a buyer who purchased a home at the February 2023 market average sales price of $698,626 with 10% down at a 6.125% interest rate would have a monthly payment of $3,818.30 and would have to make a down payment of $70,000. In this case, the borrower would need an annual income of around $180,000. In 2022, the Area Median Income (AMI) for the Atlanta Metro Area was $95,700. As you can see, there is a large disconnect between the AMI and the household income needed to purchase a home in many Intown Atlanta communities. These numbers illustrate the affordability crisis affecting the Atlanta metro and many other cities throughout the country,” states Bill Adams, Decatur Land Trust Board member.
To sign up for future homebuyer education and outreach sessions, please enter your contact information in the online form here.
Linda Curry | Board Chair