The Madison Area Community Land Trust (MACLT) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that has been taking land off of the speculative market for current and future generations in Madison, Wisconsin, since 1990.
Our organization was founded by nonprofit leaders and stakeholders seeking to promote affordable housing for first time home buyers at or below 80% of median income in the Madison and Dane County area. Our founders predicted that housing prices in the Madison area would rise beyond the means of people with low to moderate incomes. And they were right — the median price of a home in Madison jumped from $83,000 in 1991 to $205,000 in 2005, and over $300,000 in 2020, while wages have stagnated.
Under the community land trust (CLT) model, homeowners purchase their house, but not the land (this lowers the purchase price). The land is leased by the homeowner from the land trust. When MACLT homeowners sell their home, 75% of the appreciated value stays with the house, so it’s more affordable for the next buyer. The CLT homeowner also gets to keep the equity they invested into the home plus 25% of the increase in value. MACLT stewards the land under 69 homes in our portfolio to keep the houses affordable over generations.
The CLT model helps keep land affordable for future generations to meet the needs of the community. In addition to single-family homes, MACLT supports a community garden, organic urban farm, and restored urban prairie, managed by Rooted, Inc. We are open to partnerships with local organizations aligned with our mission to keep land affordable in perpetuity for many uses. In the wake of the 2008 crisis and the impending market shocks from COVID-19, we want to see more land put into CLT ownership for permanent community stewardship and use. When we own and steward it together, we are more resilient as a whole.