Acquiring Property

Turning One’s Farm or Homestead into a Community Land Trust

The Mil Abrazos Community Land Trust (MACLT) is looking for rural property near Paonia, CO to establish a small sustainable community. 

MACLT is a Colorado nonprofit whose mission is to:

  • Acquire and hold land in trust in order to provide for permanently affordable housing.  Homes will be built and lands will be used in an environmentally sensitive and socially responsible manner
  • Provide permanently affordable access to land for such purposes as quality housing, sustainable agriculture, cottage industries and co-operatives by forever removing the land from the speculative market 
  • Develop and exercise responsible and ecological practices, which preserve, protect and enhance the land’s natural attributes
  • Serve as a model in land stewardship and community development by providing information, resources and expertise

Because of the limited funds MACLT currently has available to acquire property, MACLT is looking for property owners wishing to:

  • Preserve their property as agricultural land
  • Remove their property from the speculative market
  • Prevent their property from being subdivided
  • Put their property in trust to provide opportunities for a new generation of homesteaders-farmers
  • Stay on their property and help foster a small community on their land to care for the land, animals and property owners in their senior years
  • Help provide economic opportunities to a new generation wanting to live or stay in the valley

SCENARIOS
  • Aging property owner doesn’t wish to move from his/her home and familiar landscape/environment
  • Property owner doesn’t have heirs, or property owner’s children do not wish to assume the responsibility of caring for property and property owner
  • Property owner wishes to have the legacy of his/her operation be carried forward (rancher, farmer, winery, homesteader, artisan) and wants to share his/her knowledge of how to care for the land
  • Property owner loves his/her land, home, community, church, friends and local activities
  • Property owner has farm animals that he/she doesn’t wish to be separated from
  • Property owner doesn’t want to go live somewhere far away with a family member and doesn’t want to go to a nursing home away from his/her familiar surroundings

SOLUTIONS

  • Property owner sells or donates his/her property to Land Trust
  • Land value and dwelling(s) value are separated
  • Property owner retains his/her equity in his/her dwelling(s)
  • The difference between property market value and purchase price is a tax-deductible donation as property is acquired by a nonprofit
  • Property owner can deed his/her home equity to a heir or a charity
  • Property owner has an integral part in drafting the agreements that define the community’s development, operation and criteria for membership
  • Property owner (or heir/trustee) has full voting rights in all community decisions and thus chooses new people for trial membership and later accepts them as members of the community
  • Property owner participates in the strategy for the creation of a small community on his/her property, deciding the pace and number of new community members, types of cottage industries and educational activities, etc.
  • Property owner can choose to mentor a younger generation into his/her craft whether it is ranching, farming or other

A WIN-WIN

  • Property owner can stay on his/her land
  • Property owner keeps his/her familiar surroundings, loved animals, etc.
  • Property owner has his/her land cared for by a new generation
  • Property owner is surrounded by community/children
  • Property owner could get cared for by an elder-care business run by community member(s)
  • Younger generation can have access to land without the need for a conventional mortgage
  • Younger generation gets to have access to affordable home ownership
  • Younger generation benefits from elder mentorship-transition of cultural knowledge

A NEW MODEL OF LAND OWNERSHIP AND COMMUNITY LIVING

  • Land is removed from speculation
  • Farmland is preserved
  • Community Land Trusts prevent gentrification and displacement
  • Community gets established (community members own their home)
  • Elders pass on knowledge and history of the land
  • Land Trust showcases sustainable living, small dwellings and community cooperation
  • Community development and operation are rooted in sound community agreements, land leases and policies.
  • Model can be inspiring for other property owners
  • Larger community gains stability as young people and older people stay in the area