CPAH'S PRESERVATION PROGRAM EMPLOYS THE COMMUNITY LAND TRUST MODEL OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING in order to create housing opportunities that will remain affordable in perpetuity. The organization acquires existing properties, conducts necessary rehabilitation work in order to minimize ongoing maintenance and operational costs, and then sells the homes only to low- and moderate-income households at an affordable price. CPAH retains ownership of the underlying land and leases the land to the homeowner for a nominal fee (currently $25 per month) via a 99-year, renewable ground lease. The purchase price for the homebuyer is typically 20% - 65% below the market value because, in essence, the homebuyer needs to buy only the home, not the land. If the homebuyer later wants to sell their home, it is sold to another income-qualified buyer or back to CPAH at a formula price designed to give the homeowner a fair share of appreciation, while still keeping the home affordable for the next buyer. Some units may also be available for rent. CPAH makes every effort to rehabilitate and build affordable housing in a responsible, environmentally friendly manner. In fact, CPAH was the first in the region to develop housing that was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – GOLD certification.
New Construction Program
CPAH's new construction program develops affordable for-sale and rental housing for low- and moderate-income households. Depending on the project, CPAH may serve as owner, developer, co-developer and/or nonprofit partner. Whenever possible, the organization seeks to develop housing that is handicapped accessible, environmentally friendly and located near transit and employment centers. Much like CPAH's preservation program, the organization retains ownership of the underlying land to ensure permanent affordability.
Homebuyer & Renter Services
In addition to developing affordable housing opportunities, CPAH provides ongoing support and advocacy to help homebuyers and renters secure long-term housing stability. CPAH holds regular orientations sessions throughout the year for potential applicants. Orientation sessions provide a detailed overview of CPAH's programs, the resale formula and provide a comparison of traditional homeownership vs. CPAH homeownership. If the applicant is eligible for the program, CPAH works with homebuyers to identify a suitable home and secure a responsible mortgage. The organization collects monthly ground lease fees, monitors compliance with the ground lease, provides educational programming and advocates on behalf of participants. CPAH is also responsible for ongoing stewardship of the land and administering re-sales of homes.
Administration of Affordable Housing Programs
The City of Highland Park adopted an inclusionary zoning ordinance in 2003 that requires builders to set aside at least 20% of their units as affordable housing if they are constructing a development of five or more units. CPAH administers this inclusionary zoning program on behalf of the City of Highland Park. Activities include marketing the program and homes, educating prospective buyers, eligibility determination, managing the waiting list, lender coordination, sales administration, ongoing resident services, re-sales and monitoring compliance with the Affordable Unit Declaration that controls the use and resale of units under the program. Similar to the community land trust model, the inclusionary zoning ordinance uses a deed restriction to ensure the housing remains affordable in perpetuity.
CPAH also provides consulting services related to the development, rehabilitation and administration of affordable housing.