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Decatur Land Trust hosting community outreach, education sessions on April 22

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Decatur Land Trust hosting community outreach, education sessions on April 22

The Park 108 project by Toll Brothers includes the first three homes presented for sale by the Decatur Land Trust. Photo courtesy of the Decatur Land Trust.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur Land Trust will host community outreach and education sessions on Saturday, April 22, at Legacy Park, 500 S. Columbia Drive. There will be two sessions – one from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the other from 4-5:30 p.m.

The first two DLT projects, Oak 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, according to a press release. Attending one of the DLT’s community outreach sessions is one of the first steps required to be eligible to purchase a property owned by the land trust.

Attendees will learn the fundamentals of how a community land trust home purchase works, 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,” said DaVena Jordan, executive director of 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.”

The DLT 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 finished its work. The task force report recommends 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 could not access an affordable house on the open market. Homes owned by the land trust remain permanently affordable, and the house could never be flipped. The DLT requires that a home be resold to another income-qualified household for an affordable price if a homeowner wishes to sell their home.

“In the current intown Atlanta market, a buyer that 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,” said Bill Adams, DLT board member. “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 Atlanta and many other cities throughout the country.”

While registration for the community outreach and educational sessions is optional, anyone interested in attending is encouraged to register to ensure adequate seating and educational materials for all attendees. To register online, visit www.decaturlandtrust.org.

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