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Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County



Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County (HLTSC) is a private, non-profit corporation established in February 2002.


The mission of the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County is to provide home ownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income families in Sonoma County in California, USA, while ensuring permanent housing affordability through the use of a "Community Land Trust" model (CLT). In this model the land trust organization owns real estate in order to provide benefits to its local community - and in particular to make land and housing available to residents who cannot otherwise afford them, by helping them to purchase homes on affordable terms.


Their mission is based upon two believes, namely:

  1. all working families deserve a home of their own;
  2. communities with homeowners from a broad socio-economic range are the strongest and most vibrant. 


The land beneath the homes is leased to the homeowners through a long-term, 99-year, renewable lease. The land lease requires that owners use their homes as their primary residences. When homes are resold, the lease ensures that the new owners will also be residents - not absentee owners.


When homeowners decide to move, they can sell their homes. Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County guarantees housing prices stay affordable via a resale formula. This resale formula ensures the resale price is always tied to the percentage increase for median incomes in the area; ensuring the home remains affordable in perpetuity. This formula is designed to give homeowners a fair return for their investment, while keeping the price affordable for future low- to moderate-income families. At the time of sale, the homeowner has the benefit of having equity and a possible small gain from the sale of the house.

Upon resale, the home price will be determined by what the new family can afford, regardless of the housing market. The price of the home is as affordable to subsequent owners for decades to come, as it was to the first owner in the same income level. This aspect is unique to the Land Trust model and is what sets it aside from other models that start off by offering affordable housing but are unable to continue to do so after the first sale.


In all cases the land and buildings are treated differently: The land is held permanently by the land trust, so that it will always benefit the community; buildings are owned by those who reside in them with exclusive rights to the property.


Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County has created 45 homes and is currently working on 20 more, all in Sonoma County. They have served 55 families to date.


Donations to keep making it possible for Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County to create home ownership can be made via de website: Donations to Housing Land Trust.


Also read our article: The price of your house determined by your pay check.


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Type of initiative Other (specify): Housing Land Trust
Field of work Other (specify): housing Management, Land Management
Date of commencement 2002
Legal form non-profit
Continent North America
Country USA
City Petaluma
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Home ownership, home buying, community land trust, affordable homes
Publications News articles, videos, website
More information

Contact person(s)

Dev Goetschius


Contact information

Name Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County
Address P.O. Box 5431
Zip/postal code CA 94955-5431
Place Petaluma
State/province California
Country USA
Phone +1 (707) 766-8875



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