West Central MN Communities Action's Innovative Program Leads to Homeownership

For households with low incomes, becoming a homeowner can seem out of reach. West Central Minnesota Communities Action uses a land trust program to give people households with low-to-moderate income an opportunity to purchase a house in a unique way.
The Community Action Agency created the West Central Community Land Trust (WCCLT), a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide permanent and affordable homeownership opportunities to families who are mortgage-ready. WCCLT has opened the door for families in our community to build wealth and reach the goal of homeownership that some never thought was possible in today’s market.

WCCLT holds the land “in trust,” protecting it from the for-profit real estate market.

Income-qualified buyers have access to homes at a 20-25% reduced rate from market value homes. The reduced rate is made possible by grant funding that acts as a “subsidy” to bring down the cost of the home at closing.

Affordability is achieved through a land lease and an agreement that if the buyer should want to sell, they agree to sell to another income-qualified buyer, thus keeping true affordability alive.

WCCLT partners with Minnesota Department of Corrections’ ICWC Program to help maintain affordability via construction costs while providing construction experience to low-risk inmates.

WCCLT homes are either new construction or newly rehabbed and we are currently building in Douglas and Pope Counties. There are currently six WCCLT homeowners, and by the end of 2023 there will be 6 more homes completed!

We continue to have a successful partnership with Habitat for Humanity, with one WCCLT homeowner in a HFH home. There will be 2 more HFH partnerships by the end of 2025.

WCCLT receives funding from Minnesota Housing and from the Federal Home Loan Bank for subsidy at the time of closing. The subsidy ranges from $45,000 - $60,000.

Learn more about the program at West Central Minnesota Communities Land Trust Program or contact Megan Radermacher at 320-304-3458 ext. 7217 or meganr@wcmca.org.