“If we can afford to rent something, we should be able to afford to buy something of our own, right? But that’s not always true,” Reese says. “There are barriers. We also need to understand credit and debt. That pre-work to being mortgage ready is very important to learn.”
Today, Reese is executive director of the City of Lakes Community Land Trust (CLCLT), expanding on the multi- generational and community values she appreciated growing up. CLCLT holds land with a 99-year lease, enabling people housed on that land to live more affordably. The cost of the land is not absorbed by the owner. The homeowner’s children and grandchildren can renew the property lease.
CLCLT has programs that allow low- to moderate- income people to purchase higher-quality homes, secure from evictions. Mortgages through CLCLT are made with consistent and affordable principal and interest payments. One homeowner went from paying $1,100 per month — most of her Social Security check — to $704 a month. CLCLT has helped more than 400 families achieve homeownership.