Land trust homes offer built-in foreclosure protection

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At a time when everyone is looking for stability in the housing market, perhaps some attention should be directed to community land trusts (CLTs). What? You've never heard of them? Don't feel badly. I hadn't heard of them either until I recently came across a news item on the Internet that read, "Delinquencies and foreclosures remain low in community land trusts." Good news in the housing market always catches my eye, so I decided to investigate further. First, the basics. A community land trust holds working land in a trust format to ensure the land is put to public use, usually serving a disenfranchised population. About 80 percent of all CLT organizations across the country (and there are about 250 of these groups) work in the affordable housing arena. At last count, about 10,000 homes are in CLTs. CLTs work in different ways, but the most common approach is the one that makes CLT unique: a CLT separates home and "land underneath" ownership. There a...