Commentary

Community Land Trust: Thanks, and now the work begins

170701_Joshua_HoustonHi, my name is Joshua Houston, and I am a board member of the Sitka Community Development Corporation.

The board of directors of SCDC would like to thank City and Borough of Sitka Assembly for their support of the donation of the small pocket park lot on Lillian Drive to the Sitka Community Land Trust program.

The CLT was recently formed through a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation, with the support of their grant administrator Chris Perez, and the hired consultant Michael Brown of Burlington Associates in Community Development. The diligent, tedious work of preparing legal documents and making difficult decisions was admirably performed by the CLT Committee: Maegan Bosak, Cleo Brylinsky, Randy Hughey, James Poulson, Michael LaGuire, and Mim McConnell.

The SCDC board would also like to thank Stephen Courtright for sharing his story at the Assembly meetings, and the following community members who have generously made donations: Daniel & Mae Dunsing, Bonnie Brenner, Will Swagel and to all those who purchased and or donated items at the Building Reuse Center.

Thank you to the following businesses and agencies for their generous donations: Hames Corporation, First Bank, First National Bank, ALPS Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Ludvig’s Bistro, Silver Bay Seafoods, National Community Land Trust Network, State Division of Economic Development, National Philanthropic Trust, US Coast Guard Spouses & Wives Association, ASRC McGraw Construction, Sitka Vision Clinic, Allen Marine Tours, schmolk Mechanical Contractors, and Venneberg Insurance.

Thanks also to the following agencies for their support of the CLT solution to permanently affordable housing: Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce, USDA Rural Development, Baranof Island Housing Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, and to the University of Alaska Sitka campus for the use of their classrooms for our many teleconferences and web meetings.

The next steps for SCDC are to approve a house design, select a qualified prospective home owner according to the CLT process, coach the home owner through financing, select a builder for the home on Lillian Drive, oversee the building project, and then choose our next project.

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