project leader
Simon B
1938 Gilbert Street
(Lincoln Heights)
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the project

The struggle for equitable housing has always been an uphill battle. The problem we face is systemic. When our country was founded, only wealthy, white men could own property. Oftentimes, that property was  people who had no choice but to be enslaved and exploited. After slavery was ended, systems of discrimination persisted. The institution of Jim Crow laws saw the creation of "separate-but-equal". The reality was anything but equal. African-Americans have been historically barred from building equity through homeownership due to redlining and discriminatory loan practices. African-American veterans were almost universally unable to claim benefits from the GI Bill due to housing policy and discrimination in banking. Today, local black communities are being priced out of their neighborhoods through gentrification. It is in times such as these where we have to wonder, are we ever going to have justice?

I believe we can, but only if we are willing to take it. The Community Land Trust model for housing is a model for affordable housing dating its roots back to the beginning of the Progessive Era in the late 1800s. The first American CLT was founded in 1969 in part by civil rights activist and cousin to MLKJr., Slater King in Albany, Georgia to steward land for black farmers. The first urban CLT was founded in 1981 in Cincinnati to fight gentrification. Now, over 277 CLTs exist across the U.S. 

The Westside Community Land Trust in Charlotte, North Carolina is one of these organizations. The Westside CLT has the explicit goal of fighting back against gentrification in Charlotte's west side. The recently founded CLT has just completed the process of developing its first resale-restricted home, and are selling that first home to a prospective buyer making 60% area median income! Resale-restricted housing ensures that if this current buyer ever goes to resell the home, the next buyer will also receive the massive discount on the home's price that the first buyer received. This cycle of keeping the home affordable will exist into perpetuity. The Westside CLT has the ultimate goal of raising $2.5 million dollars and it is up to us to get them everything they will need. It is all hands on deck. We have the resources, the people, and the institutions. Equitable housing is something that we could see in our lifetime, we just have to fund it.  


the steps

Lucky for us, there are already institutions that will support the development of affordable housing. This means we do not have to literally start from nothing. The first, and crucially vital step is that funding has to be secured. Nothing will get done if there is no money behind these efforts. Materials have to be purchased. Workers need to be paid. The Westside CLT has already demonstrated their ability to develop housing. When greater funds support these efforts, a compounded strength the organization has. Once development has completed, buyers are found through the CLT's home ownership program. To give you the sense of urgency that this issue deserves, currently there are 70 people in the program. The organizational backing is there, you just have to give.

why we're doing it

I believe that people are supremely products of their environments, and that with that belief comes a responsibility. Our responsibility is to build better environments. So much of our world pushes people today towards the conclusion that it is only every man for himself. We get so caught up in taking care of ourselves and our own that we leave behind our most vulnerable. We sell our neighbors, our fellow Americans, the poor, the sick, and the marginalized down the river so that we can climb the economic ladder and then kick that ladder out from under us once we have reached the top.  The scourge of underhousing has gone on for too long in this country. The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, and the way it treats its citizens in kind is disgraceful. The task of caring for our neighbors is left to us. The struggle has always been just that, a struggle. It is my firm belief that all people want to do right by others, but that they just might not know how. With the knowledge you have gained, I ask you to donate. Every dollar counts. We can do it.


All funds raised will be going to the construction of affordable housing. The Westside Community Land Trust is currently building three, 3 bedroom housing units to be sold at massively discounted rates and to be resale-restriced into perpetuity. This means that when the current buyer goes to sell the property, it remains affordable for the next person, and the positive-feedback loop continues. The Westside CLT just finished their first home and is in the process of selling it to a buyer making 60% the Area Median Income. Your donations will contribute greatly to labor and building materials.

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $5,435
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
TOTAL TO RAISE= $108,696
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  



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