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The Importance of Membership in a Community Land Trust

The most important part of Thurston Housing Land Trust structure is that community members have decision-making involvement at annual meetings, in taking on leadership roles on the board, and by attending monthly Board meetings to offer input throughout the year. A fundamental principle of CLTs is that homeowner-lessees have a strong membership voice and can participate as board members as well.

A healthy membership roster speaks volumes. Even if you do not have time to participate, becoming a member is a message to our funders and other housing advocates that Thurston Housing Land Trust is a valued resource for our community.

Research conducted on community land trusts has validated several benefits they can bring to their communities:


  • equity and wealth building for homeowner-lessee members in marginalized groups, and communities of color 

  • stabilized trust homeownership increases educational success for children in those households

  • a less than 3% mortgage failure rate for trust homes compared to 18% in the wider population, due to supportive management and foreclosure prevention efforts by the trust

  • trusts holding land and homes acts as a neighborhood stabilization and preservation factor

  • homeownership in a CLT often means cost-burdened families pay less for purchasing a home than they have paid in rent for comparable housing.

Land trusts have become known for conserving vital green belts, rivers and farmland in our area.  What is not as widely known is that some of the oldest trusts around the US are for preserving affordable housing. 

Become a member today to help create a long-term solution to the housing crisis.

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