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Lopez Community Land Trust combined community control of land, permanent affordability, permaculture principles, a net-zero energy goal, green designs, individual empowerment and fun, into one ambitious housing development project.
A vision is rooted in the belief that housing is a human right, not a commodity to maximize profit. Homes For All believes it is possible to create a just housing system in which everyone has affordable and dignified housing.
Because we have our own home we have the liberty to dream, act, and influence our community. We have a unique opportunity as land trust homeowners as we are part of affordable homeownership today, tomorrow, and forever.
AMI is typically used to determine whether a person is eligible for housing assistance. But in a large and wealthy area like the New York City metro, the resulting definitions of “low income” are often skewed, leaving out those who really need the help.
The 30 percent standard only ‘works’ in calculations where it is irrelevant. The residual-income approach, on the other hand, can turn what all too often becomes an abstract and theoretical discussion into a series of researchable questions.
The simplicity of the 30 percent standard is also its downfall. We don’t expect people of differing incomes or family sizes to pay the same percentage of their income in taxes—why would the same percentage work for housing costs?
In the Spring 2017 issue of Shelterforce, we talk about something that comes up daily for many people working in the community development field—what does housing affordability mean? Crafting practical policies to back up our vision requires that we be thoughtful about all of the pieces.