Affordable Homes for Sale Through Austin Community Land Trust

The city-run program is accepting applications now

One of the affordable houses for sale through the program (Photo via Austin Community Land Trust)

If you’re a native Austinite looking to buy a roughly $200,000 house, a batch of affordable homes are up for grabs through the city’s community land trust program, and the window to apply for eligibility is open now.

The Austin Community Land Trust, established following City Council’s passage of a resolution in 2018 aimed at slowing gentrification through a variety of measures, began accepting new applications for the program Jan. 1. The application window closes Jan. 31. Applicants must be first-time home buyers with a household income of no more than 100% of Austin’s Median Family Income (currently, $85,600 for a single person) and proof of generational ties to Austin. Previous applicants need not reapply.

Land trusts are one of the ways cities are trying to make home ownership possible for people who aren’t rich – and they can help people who were displaced due to gentrification.

Under such models, governments or nonprofits (in this case, the Austin Housing Finance Corporation, a Local Government Corporation established by Council) buy homes to sell at prices below the median rate ($518,000 as of November, according to the Austin Board of Realtors). In these transactions, only the house itself is sold – AHFC retains ownership of the land (the most expensive piece of any real estate transaction) underneath it, which is part of how the land trust model allows for affordable home ownership.

New homes for sale by ACLT include three-and-four bedroom houses in Northwest and Northeast Austin. Most are eligible only for those making 80% of the Median Family Income or less.

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