Gaining Perspective on Community Land Trust Properties: A Pilot Study Measuring Property Conditions and Public Perception
Sanchez, Alicia Maria
While an uncontested symbol of the “American dream” is homeownership, only members of the higher echelons of society can achieve this dream with ease. Lower-income populations take the greatest risk and suffer the most severe consequences when homeownership fails. This study explores a creative solution for low-income homeowners, called community land trusts (CLT), and the associated challenges for broader acceptance of the CLT model due to its relationship to the low-income population it serves. My research questions attempt to understand two issues affecting the acceptance of the CLT model – the physical conditions of CLT properties and public perceptions of the properties. To answer these questions, an online survey instrument was developed using photographs of CLT properties in one neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona. These photos, their corresponding question responses, and the corresponding data elicited interesting information on how both norms associated with low-income housing and respondent demographics affect perceptions of CLT houses. Together these inquiries provide important information about how CLTs may contribute to developing more positive perceptions of affordable housing.