Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t see your question here? Reach out to our team!

What is a Community Land Trust, and how does it work? 

A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a non-profit organization providing access to affordable home ownership. CLTs sell homes to people who are credit-worthy with low to moderate incomes. While buyers own the house, the land beneath their home belongs to the CLT. The homeowner holds rights to the land by paying a small fee through the leasehold agreement. 

CLTs create opportunities for homeownership by utilizing a shared appreciation model. When homeowners sell their homes, the resale price is based on a formula designed to provide a fair and reasonable rate of return, enabling homeowners to regain their initial investment plus a fair share of the appreciation of their homes. The profits shared with the land trust help keep the home’s price within reach for future income-qualified homebuyers. 

The stable and secure housing made possible by CLTs enables many individuals and families to invest in their future, improve their financial status, and positively contribute to the community’s economic development. 

How long is the land lease, and what are my rights to the land?

The home buyer pays a $50/month fee to own the right to occupy the land through a 99-year leasehold agreement. The homeowner can use the land for any residential purpose and activity permitted by local zoning laws during their occupancy.

Can I ever buy the land?

Purchasing the land is not an option in the Community Land Trust model. SCLT home ownership means you can purchase a home at a lower price because the land remains part of the land trust and ensures affordable housing remains available for future generations.

If my income increases after I purchase a SCLT home, will I have to move?

No. Your income is not monitored once you qualify for and purchase a land trust home.

What is the Stewardship Fund?

The Stewardship Fund enables the SCLT to provide loans for major repairs when a SCLT property owner is unable to save for them or access funding from a lender. Homebuyers purchasing an SCLT home invest in the program by paying a $50 monthly fee into the reserve (separate from escrow).

What am I responsible for when I purchase a SCLT home?

SCLT homeowners are responsible for the following: 

  • Monthly mortgage payment, including property taxes and homeowners insurance
  • Home repairs and maintenance
  • Lease fees for the use of the land
  • Payment into the Stewardship Reserve
  • A down payment of $1,500 
  • Credit score of at least 640

Is a down payment required? How much is it?

The Springfield Community Land Trust requires a $1,500 down payment to purchase a home. 

How do I access my credit score?

Credit Karma provides a truly free credit score to consumers directly from the credit bureau. Your scores are retrieved securely with no hidden fees. allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).