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NWCLT’s Response to Current and Forecast Economic Conditions

NWCLT believes that current economic conditions, and those forecast for the

near future, require us to refocus our affordable housing efforts. From this

perspective, we see an urgent need for public and private sector investment in the

creation of Limited Equity Cooperatives (LECs). These LECs must be specifically

targeted to provide homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income

people and families.

Given current interest rates and inflation, in addition to the potential recession

that looms in the near future, we believe the wisest strategy to employ now is to

embrace LEC development where it is needed most in our urban area.

Accordingly, NWCLT is pivoting its efforts toward creating such an LEC

model of homeownership that will be within reach of low- and moderate-income

households. Current market conditions have made it nearly impossible for low- and

moderate-income households to take advantage of single-family homeownership

opportunities offered by Community Land Trusts such as NWCLT. Consequently,

NWCLT believes that the LEC shared equity model of “apartment-home” ownership

is the best alternative available to low- and moderate-income families during this

challenging, inflationary economic period.

A Limited Equity Cooperative (LEC) is an incorporated cooperative in which

each owner owns a cooperative interest that is the combination of two things: 1) the

co-owner‘s ownership interest in the cooperative corporation—represented by a

certificate of ownership or corporate shares; and 2) an exclusive right to occupy a

particular dwelling unit owned by the cooperative corporation, which is represented

by an occupancy agreement or proprietary lease.

Each ownership interest gives the co-owner a pro-rata undivided interest in

the cooperative’s property as a whole and the right to participate in the democratic

governance of the cooperative. This pro-rata undivided interest means the owner has

a proportionate part of ownership of the corporation that owns the land and

buildings. The owner’s right to occupy the specific dwelling unit continues as long

as the individual is both a co-owner of the cooperative and abides by the occupancy


Although we are pivoting to the LEC shared equity model of ownership

because of market and overall economic conditions, NWCLT does not see LECs as

a “magic pill” that will cure the affordable housing crisis. In football parlance,

NWCLT has decided to take what the defense gives us in order to reach the goal line

of decent, affordable housing for all of us, regardless of income.

Northwest CLT Corporation (NWCLT) is a federally tax-exempt charitable

organization under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our mission is to

provide decent, affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for low- and

moderate-income people, while preserving the quality and affordability of these

apartments and homes for future generations.

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