partner stories

Asheville Buncombe Community Land Trust

Asheville Buncombe Community Land Trust

3 volunteers

In 2014, the City of Asheville commissioned a report to study the effects of gentrification in the East Riverside area. The report revealed rapid gentrification and displacement in the city, ripple effects of historic discriminatory policies such as redlining and urban renewal. In response to these findings and in effort to support equitable programming, the City recommended the incorporation of a community land trust to combat the lasting effects of policies that disproportionately displaced thousands of people in Asheville’s black and low-income communities.

Established in 2018, the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust (ABCLT) works to create permanently affordable residential, commercial, and community spaces that mobilize BIPOC and low- to moderate-income residents to build social, economic, and cultural capital. ABCLT’s goal is to combat gentrification and displacement, particularly in historically Black neighborhoods, and ensure equitable housing opportunities for everyone in Buncombe County. ABCLT homebuyers purchase homes and ground leases at prices well below market rate, while also building equity at a rate of 2.25% compounded annually. This allows homebuyers to purchase at a much lower price point while also generating wealth – a critical contributor to equity. If an ABCLT owner decides to sell, the home will remain affordable to the next buyer and that new purchase price is calculated using a preset resale formula from their ground lease.

In 2021, ABCLT was fortunate to experience monumental progress despite pandemic-related challenges. In response to increasing property values, they received seed funding for a property tax relief program to prevent displacement of 13 homeowners in historically Black neighborhoods, supported in part by Dogwood. Additionally, they launched the Montford & Stumptown Fund and Burton Street Fund to support Black residents, increased organizational capacity, hired a bookkeeper, and pre-qualified their first homebuyer. The impact of this growth was felt in 2022 when ABCLT received funding from Dogwood the support the development of five permanently affordable homes, and celebrated their very first homebuyer, Nikita Lindsey, who purchased a single-family home in the Shiloh neighborhood of Asheville.

Within the next ten years many affordable housing developments in WNC will reach the end of their required period of affordability, meaning owners can begin to rent units at full market rates, leaving current residents to face displacement. As a result, Western North Carolina is experiencing a net loss in affordable housing stock, losing existing units faster than we can create new ones. In this housing climate, Community Land Trusts (CLTs) such as ABCLT create resiliency for low-income residents and allow for development without displacement.

I support ABCLT because I want as many people as possible to be able to own a home, and specifically to address racial inequality in housing. The ABCLT is a completely different way to think about property ownership and home equity, and it is the only efficient way to provide deep affordability to our residents in perpetuity. It’s about community, family and equity.”

– Kate, Community Member

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Health & Wellness | Goal 4

Increase Access to Behavioral Health and Substance Use Prevention and Treatment

Support programs and networks that reduce deaths, treat addiction, and prevent first use

Objective 4.1: Reduce opioid overdose mortality throughout the region

Objective 4.2: Reduce untreated behavioral health and substance use disorder in disproportionately affected communities

Objective 4.3: Prevent and reduce behavioral health issues and substance use (tobacco, alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs) in youth

Health & Wellness | Goal 3

Address Health Disparities

Help reduce disparities based on race, location, education and income factors

Objective 3.1: Improve health outcomes for women and infants in rural and low-income communities and communities of color

Objective 3.2: Reduce the prevalence of common chronic health diseases in disproportionately affected communities

Objective 3.3: Increase effectiveness of health care through delivery of culturally aligned services

Health & Wellness | Goal 2

Increase Access to Whole-Person Health Care

Invest in integrated heath care with seamless connections to supportive services

Objective 2.1: Increase the number of people with affordable health insurance coverage

Objective 2.2: Increase the available workforce for primary and allied health care services

Objective 2.3: Increase access to comprehensive and integrated care

Objective 2.4: Increase access to community-based services in low-income, elderly and rural communities

Health & Wellness | Goal 1

Support and Build Healthy Communities

Support communities that promote healthy living and resiliency and help mitigate the impact of trauma, isolation and stress on individuals and families, especially those experiencing poverty

Objective 1.1: Decrease adverse experiences (ACEs and traumatic violence) and improve individual and family resiliency

Objective 1.2: Increase access to community environments that promote healthy living and social connectedness across the age continuum

Economic Opportunity | Goal 4

Foster Entrepreneurship

Support a well-funded, sustainable, competitive entrepreneur and small business ecosystem throughout the region

Objective 4.1: Increase the number of Person of Color (POC)-led small businesses throughout the region

Objective 4.2: Increase the number of rural small businesses throughout the region

Economic Opportunity | Goal 3

Build Economic Ecosystems

Help build a regional economic ecosystem that supports increased creation/retention of jobs and business ownership

Objective 3.1: Improve access to higher-paying jobs throughout the region, targeting the lowest income populations

Objective 3.2: Increase and retain quality jobs

Objective 3.3: Stimulate economic growth, catalyzing businesses and revenue

Economic Opportunity | Goal 2

Promote Work Readiness

Help build a skilled workforce with the knowledge and technical abilities to excel in a wide range of industry employment opportunities that provide a competitive, sustainable wage

Objective 2.1: Close the educational attainment gap in WNC, staying on pace with regional and county-specific projections (myFutureNC 2030).

Economic Opportunity | Goal 1

Develop a Comprehensive Data Resource

Source, analyze and share a comprehensive, county-by-county data set that paints a full picture of work readiness, economic development and entrepreneurial needs and opportunities specific to Western North Carolina

Education | Goal 3

Support Higher Education Career Readiness

Work in tandem with Economic Opportunity Strategic Priority to invest in career readiness at the community college and university levels

Objective 4.1: Close the educational attainment gap in WNC, staying on pace with regional and county-specific projections (myFutureNC 2030).

Education | Goal 2

Improve K-12 Education

Support K-12 learning experiences with the resources and sustainability to provide an excellent academic and social-emotional education, so that all students graduate ready for college or career

Objective 2.1: Address teacher workforce challenges

Objective 2.2: Equip families of students to support academic growth and social-emotional health

Objective 2.3: Increase capacity of partners to provide supports and services, particularly for children facing challenges related to poverty, systemic racism, being differently abled or English language learners

Education | Goal 1

Improve Early Childhood Education Ecosystem

Invest in an improved early childhood education ecosystem with the resources and sustainability to provide developmentally appropriate, affordable and accessible education and care to support ages birth to five, so that all children in WNC enter kindergarten ready to learn

Objective: Address early childhood educator workforce challenges

Education | Goal 4

Develop a Comprehensive Landscape Study

Source, analyze and share a comprehensive set of publicly available data that provides a regularly updated, county-by-county picture of access, workforce and student outcomes in early childhood education and K-12 education specific to Western North Carolina

Housing | Goal 5

Use Impact Investments to Create Affordable and Workforce Housing

Loans, guarantees, and other financial tools to leverage funding opportunities

Housing | Goal 4

Create and Preserve Housing Units for Persons Below 50% of the Median Income

Increase affordable housing for lowest-income individuals and families

Objective 4.1: Create rental units for households below 50% of the median income

Objective 4.2: Help families pay no more than 30% of their income on housing

Objective 4.3: Create and preserve communities in a way that is representative of the WNC natural landscape

Housing | Goal 3

Create and Preserve Senior Housing

Support age-appropriate resources in affordable and workforce units, rental and owned

Objective 3.1: Create needed rental and homeownership opportunities for seniors

Objective 3.2: Incorporate supportive services in rental housing developments

Objective 3.3: Increase use of universal design in development

Housing | Goal 2

Create and Preserve Supportive Housing Rental Units

Invest in housing with sustainable supports for physical and mental health and wellbeing

Objective 2.1: Create new supportive housing

Objective 2.2: Preserve existing supportive housing

Objective 2.3: Leverage state and federal funds

Single story home in the midst of being build with 3 volunteers helping.

Housing | Goal 1

Support Healthy and Safe Revitalization Opportunities

Support healthy and safe revitalizations that work against displacement and gentrification, preserve home ownership and create generational wealth.

Objective 1.1: Revitalize Neighborhoods

Objective 1.2: Repurpose existing structures to minimize environmental impact

Objective 1.3: Support home ownership