loading...

A Land Trust in the Works to Preserve Affordability in Anacostia

by Nena Perry-Brown

image
Good Hope Road in Anacostia. Photo by Ted Eytan.

As development continues to transform the District, more eyes are turning east of the Anacostia River, a longtime bastion of affordable housing in the city which also contains some of its most-neglected and overlooked communities.

The 11th Street Bridge Park project could very well be the major infrastructural development to spur investment in Anacostia and elsewhere in Ward 8; however, considering how development and gentrification have tended to go hand-in-hand over the past decade, many longtime residents east of the River have cause to be concerned over how such a major attraction could be disruptive.

This fact is not lost on Scott Kratz, director of the Bridge Park project, and was the impetus behind the creation of a multimillion-dollar Equitable Development Plan last year, the result of numerous neighborhood stakeholder meetings to solicit feedback on the community’s priorities and preferences. One of the initiatives that emerged is a partnership with Manna to create a homebuyers club in Ward 8.

“As part of the Bridge Park, it’s been really important from the beginning to invest not only in this new civic infrastructure, but also the surrounding communities,” Kratz says. “When we asked the community for their housing recommendations, the idea that kept coming up again and again, was this notion of a community land trust.”

The Bridge Park Community Land Trust, a partnership with City First Homes, will create the first land trust east of the River to purchase and pool land in Anacostia.

“The basic idea of a land trust is to preserve the land and to preserve the affordability by taking, in many ways, the land out of a property equation,” Robert Burns, president of City First Homes, explains. “Typically, when you buy a property, you’re taking the building and the land that sits underneath it. In putting a trust together, you’re able to preserve the affordability of the land, but also afford individuals and families the opportunity to buy without having to take the land into account, so its a different type of transaction.”

From a development perspective, employing a land trust would also enable the community to negotiate higher shares of inclusionary zoning units in multi-family projects. Land Trusts typically have tripartite structures where one-third of the board is made of neighborhood residents, one-third are residents of land trust properties, and one-third are experts in the field.

Over the next few months, the land trust working group will continue to refine what methods of property acquisition the Trust plans to use (including exploring market-rate options and partnering with developers to apply for city-owned properties), determine the structure and governance of the Trust, and hold additional informative and interactive sessions with the community. The group is also looking to build an acquisition fund through private philanthropic sources.

While the group hopes to have more to share on their progress next month — and to make some announcements on funding within the next 60 days — the process will be a collaborative one based on community feedback rather than depending on closed-door decision-making.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_land_trust_in_the_works_to_preserve_affordability_in_anacostia/12203

3 Comments

  1. bullfrogcorner said at 10:10 am on Thursday February 16, 2017:

    One entity owns the bridge and another entity (the Trust) owns the land? How does that do anything for the people of Anacostia? Somebody ‘round here is crazy.

  1. Nick Williams said at 7:02 pm on Wednesday February 22, 2017:

    The community land trust idea has been used successfully in other parts of the country to buy land/buildings and maintain affordability.  The devil is in the details: not only financing the real estate purchase, but also governing.  Who makes what decisions?  I live in a house I own, on land I DO NOT own; the land is leased to me by a community land trust.  There are also restrictions on how I can sell the house and leasehold - to keep it affordable for future buyers.

  1. Christian Addison said at 10:24 am on Sunday February 26, 2017:

    Most of the lands East of the Anacostia river aren’t’ eligible to be place under a land trust. See, the land in Anacostia is already trusted to the Addison family of Maryland and DC. The land trust of Anacostia is currently under a land patent called Chechester which consist of over 887 acres. It has been patented by the Addison family since 1768. I am not saying that the groups mentioned here aren’t innovative in their quest, but I am saying that they are about 300 yeas too late.

    If you are wondering what land patents are please google it. My family patents can be viewed by the public at the Maryland State Archives. This brings me to my final point. These developers just recently found out that they have no rights on these lands here. They just found that the Anacostia part of DC was originally in Prince George’s County, Maryland. This means that the so called vacant community lands in SE are actually not vacant or unclaimed lands at all. There patent titles rest in Annapolis, MD. I know this is a misfortune for developers who want my family’s land, but there actions are in vain as you will see in the coming days.

    Thanks for reading and I hope this clears all misunderstandings for the developers and the readers.

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.



DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾