Michael Casiano

I grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Baltimore County. The house I grew up in was foreclosed in 2011 after my mother passed away. She had taken out a bad loan from a big bank which I later found out was charged with targeting other people of color with similar loans. I didn’t know it at the time, but the experience of losing the house in the first place had a lot to do with predatory credit practices and a hostile housing market.

I moved to Baltimore City in 2015 in the middle of writing a dissertation on urban development and housing. My work as a Ph.D. student, as well as my service on the board of Charm City Land Trusts, is motivated by a desire to create permanently affordable housing for people like my mother—for people who may become the victims of a volatile housing market or predatory lending.

I believe a community land trust is the perfect tool for guaranteeing permanent affordability because it allows the community to set the resale value of a house while providing support for the people living in the neighborhood. CCLT is a crucial tool in the fight for development without displacement, and I’m very happy to be a member.