As an active resident of the McElderry Park community, I am proud to be a Board Member of Charm City Land Trusts, whose mission coincides with the written parks/open spaces and housing goals delineated in the Monument-McElderry-Fayette Revitalization Plan.
For years, community members and select partners have fought to protect community managed open space and to have a third of any housing development be designated for affordable homeownership opportunities that can be available to our own neighbors.
As a long term renter, I am personally aware of the difficulties of making this leap to becoming a homeowner in an emerging market where outside demand and incentive programs continue to spur market rate development. The new fully rehabbed properties in the community are priced far above what my neighbors and I can afford and escalating property values have-long term residents living in fear of the gentrification and displacement that has occurred in communities around us. A community land trust model which espouses the fair development principles of transparency, accountability, universality, equity and participatory is one strategic and effective way to combat that from happening.