Credit: TJCLT

The Thomas Jefferson Community Land Trust (TJCLT) is announcing that it has received a challenge grant of $100,000 from a local anonymous donor to support its program of creating permanently affordable homeownership opportunities in the Charlottesville region. TJCLT Board Chair Frazier Bell noted, “We are extremely grateful for this expression of support for the value that TJCLT brings to the Charlottesville region. Our goal is to meet and exceed the challenge from this donor. Every dollar that we raise increases the chance for families with modest incomes to get a stake in our community through homeownership.” TJCLT is seeking matching contributions that will enable to it to increase the supply of homes that are a part of the land trust model. Persons and organizations interested in finding out more about the CLT and the Capital Campaign should visit the website at or contact Frazier Bell at (434) 242-3306.The CLT hopes to raise a total of $250,000 through this campaign, to support up to 10 more permanently affordable homes in the area.

The Thomas Jefferson Community Land Trust, incorporated in 2008, is the first community land trust created in Virginia. Over the past 4 years, the trust has developed 8 homes in Charlottesville that are permanently affordable. The homes are in several neighborhoods and include a mix of newly constructed and existing homes. The CLT program is unique because it ensures that affordable homeownership remains possible for moderate-income families in the region for decades to come. It does that by offering new or existing homes at prices well below the market value, by taking the cost of land out of the sales price. The TJCLT owns the land and leases it to the homebuyer with a 90-year lease for a small monthly fee. Because the Charlottesville area has high land costs, TJCLT can reduce the cost for the home by 30-40% using this model. The home pictured is an example of a TJCLT home. Quality and affordability are key components of the program.

TJCLT keeps the home affordable for future buyers by placing restrictions on the future sales price. This is done through an “equity sharing” provision contained in the lease. While the community land trust model is not right for everyone, it does offer the possibility of homeownership to families who are currently locked out of the market. As the portfolio of TJCLT homes grows, it guarantees that families with low and moderate incomes will always be included in our community.