The Fair Housing & Community Development Project provides pro bono transactional legal assistance to community development organizations working to create and maintain affordable housing and to revitalize and stabilize neighborhoods. Transactional services include drafting community benefits agreements, partnership and development agreements, loan documents, and leases; and researching affordable housing finance. The Fair Housing & Community Development Project supports innovative affordable housing models and efforts, such as limited equity homeownership and community land trusts.
- CASA de Maryland
- Crescent City CLT
- Harmony Neighborhood Development
- Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition
- Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative
- North Gulfport Community Land Trust
- Sankofa Community Development Corporation
- Southern Mutual Help Association
- Miami Coalition for the Homeless
CASA’s primary mission is to work with the community to improve the quality of life and fight for equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income Latinos and their families. Founded in 1985 by Central American refugees and North Americans, CASA was created in response to the needs of the thousands of Central Americans arriving to the DC area after fleeing wars and civil strife in their countries of origin. Click here to learn more about CASA.
The mission of Crescent City CLT (CCCLT) is to protect targeted residential and commercial properties in New Orleans neighborhoods for the long-term benefit of neighborhood and community residents and to make land available for projects and activities that improve the quality of life and preserve community assets. CCCLT is part of an innovative community land trust pilot program in New Orleans supported by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the National Community Land Trust Network. The Fair Housing & Community Development Project successfully incorporated CCCLT as a nonprofit corporation in Louisiana and obtained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for the organization and provides ongoing legal assistance.
The purposes of community land trusts are to provide permanently affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families and to promote community control of neighborhood resources and land. A nonprofit organization owns the land and leases it for a nominal fee to individuals who own the buildings on the land, providing families with the security of homeownership. In order to preserve affordability, the land lease contains a resale provision which ensures that if the house is sold, it goes to another low- or moderate-income family. The Fair Housing & Community Development Project is assisting several community land trusts in the Gulf Coast. Click here to visit Crescent City CLT’s website.
Harmony (formerly the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative) is a non-profit community organizing, planning and development organization focused on revitalizing the Central City neighborhood. Harmony concentrates on the production of quality affordable housing and asset-building for low-income families through homeownership opportunities. Click here to visit Harmony’s website.
The Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition’s (HEBCAC) mission is to work with residents and stakeholders to improve neighborhoods in East Baltimore. Since its founding in 1994, HEBCAC has implemented a series of programs that address both the physical infrastructure and human capital issues faced by residents of the neighborhoods within which it works. These programs include its Youth Opportunity Program, Healthy Minds at Work, Baltimore Food Enterprise Center, Monument Street Renaissance, and Eager Street “Vacants to Values” Initiative. Click here to learn more about HEBCAC.
The Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative (JPNSI) is committed to developing a community land trust to preserve and expand affordable housing in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. The Fair Housing & Community Development Project is assisting JPNSI on the acquisition and development of property for affordable housing and community gardens. Clickhere to learn more about JPNSI.
The North Gulfport Community Land Trust (NGCLT), in Gulfport, Mississippi, was formed in 2004 by concerned residents with the goal of making land and housing available to residents who would otherwise be priced out of the market. The concept behind the land trust was to establish a local democratically controlled nonprofit organization that owns real estate in order to provide direct benefits to the community. With leadership from founder Rose Johnson, NGCLT also engages in community organizing around environmental justice, education, and housing issues. Click here to visit NGCLT’s website.
The Sankofa Community Development Corporation serves as a catalyst to revitalize New Orleans’ Lower and Upper Ninth Ward communities. The organization serves residents of the area by addressing the social determinants of health, supporting diets rich in fruits and vegetables, and helping to decrease cardiovascular risk factors. Sankofa CDC works to increase access to fresh healthy produce and educate residents about the importance of growing and consuming healthy foods. To learn more about Sankofa CDC’s programs, click here.
Located in New Iberia, Louisiana, the Southern Mutual Help Association’s (SMHA mission is to create community-based programs throughout southern Louisiana that reduce and eliminate the racism, sexism, and classism created by Louisiana’s political and social systems. SMHA has engaged in efforts to suppor the creation of low-income housing, basic adult education, job training, affordable healthcare, and the rebuilding of communities damaged by natural disasters. It has foounded at least 15 institutions involved in community development, sustainable agriculture, and health and education; developed new policies around farm workers’ rights, health, and housing; provided technical assistance to new small businesses; and created new financing tools and provided mortgages to dozens of low-income families. Under its Building Rural Communities initiative, SMHA is designing and assembling funding for its first Traditional Neighborhood Design rural housing community, Teche Ridge, and plans on including shared equity and deed-restricted affordable housing. Click here to visit SMHA.
The Miami Coalition For The Homeless promotes community efforts in South Florida to prevent and end homelessness in South Florida. As part of its advocacy, the Miami Coalition is involved in developing prevention measures to lead to the elimination of homelessness, coordinating resources for the homeless, and participating in community conversations to further stable and affordable housing. The Lawyers’ Committee is supporting the Miami Coalition in developing its initiative, the “Miami Homes For All Campaign,” which seeks to combine public and private funding to develop safe and affordable housing in Miami. Click here to visit the Miami Coalition’s website.