As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, Bend certainly feels the pressure of growth from many different angles. Kôr Community Land Trust addresses one of these, helping to ensure that the Central Oregon workforce has access to healthy, affordable homes for generations to come. We are proud to support this nonprofit organization and their work in building sustainable, affordable homeownership communities.
The primary audience for Kôr is working families and individuals such as nurses, teachers, hospitality workers, and many more who “contribute to the fabric of the economy”. Usually, this encompasses people who can qualify for a mortgage but cannot afford to purchase a home while their wages don’t match rising prices. Kôr bridges this gap. The organization’s priority population homebuyers include Black, Indigenous and People of Color earning less than 80% area median income (AMI), with family housing needs. We also love that this organization builds its homes to zero net energy standards, a commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and more that resonates with our own values as a company.
The Community Land Trust model, to which Kôr subscribes, first began as part of the civil rights movement as only landowners could vote. Since inception, the model has grown across the nation, tailored to fit each community’s specific needs. It works by allowing homeowners to own their home outright by leveraging a traditional mortgage, and the Community Land Trust owns the land under the house and leases it back to the homeowner through a 99 year renewable land lease. The lease ensures that the home resells to another income-qualified homebuyer if the homeowners sell. The original homeowner receives a fair return on their initial investment while helping future generations access affordable homes as they did.
The organization is currently at work on its third community in the region, called Poplar, located in SW Bend. It will include seven net-zero energy, 3 bed/2bath homes in a cottage cluster style community. Specifically for households earning between 65-80% AMI. It is anticipated to be completed in 2024. You can read more about their communities here.
Interested in getting involved? Kôr Community Land Trust has several volunteer and in-kind donation opportunities available, as well as cash donation and funding options to help ensure Central Oregonians have access to affordable and sustainable housing.