Laura Friederich articulates why buying a DCLT home was so timely in <a href="http://www.heraldsun.com/opinion/article184385678.html">this article</a> published in the Herald Sun on November 14, 2017.

My land trust home is an investment in an affordable community. “We need more permanent affordable housing, and we need it fast.” 

In this article, Laura Friederich articulates why buying a DCLT home was so timely.


To be eligible for homeownership, residents must have a total household income of 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) for homeownership in Durham County.

  • Buyers must qualify for a home mortgage through one of our lending partners – Fifth Third Bank, Union Home Mortgage, Pinnacle Financial Partners, or Intercoastal Mortgage, LLC. Feel free to contact DCLT for our lender partners’ information.
  • Buyers are asked to complete a land trust orientation and homebuyer education workshops led by Reinvestment Partners.
  • Submit below if you qualify for a home mortgage and have completed a homebuyer education class.

“CEF and DCLT are working together to open access to more equitable financial services — a matched savings program and one-on-one coaching and support for DCLT’s tenants and homeowners.  We’re exploring and co-designing positive rent reporting to build tenants’ credit history!”

-Janet Xiao, Co-Director, Community Empowerment Fund.

Our Path to Homeownership Process:

In conjunction with our program partners, our staff works with tenants who express interest and financial readiness to become homeowners. Current tenants are eligible and are even given priority when land trust homes become available for purchase.

These are the six steps we ask potential homebuyers to fulfill before becoming a DCLT homeowner:

  • Possess the desire to be part of the solution to create permanently affordable housing in Durham
  • Maintain two years of steady employment
  • Earn a Credit Score of 640 or higher
  • Meet income-eligibility requirements
  • Get prequalified from one of DCLT’s preferred lenders: Pinnacle Financial Partners or Bank of NC.
  • Gain certification from one of DCLT’s partner homebuyer education courses. In Durham, we work with Reinvestment Partners. Click here for their schedule of homebuyer classes.

The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) offers financial services such as budgeting and 1:1 matched savings programs, and classes for DCLT tenants.  Get in touch with them to find out how you can take advantage of their offerings!

Maintenance Individual Development Accounts (MIDA)

DCLT has developed a savings program – the Maintenance Individual Development Account – to encourage their homeowners to prepare for the large capital repairs that can plague aging homes. This provides a structured program for land trust homeowners to save for capital repairs while they work with financial educators with the Community Empowerment Fund for assistance.

Lawanda Anderson shares her success saving $1200 through the MIDA program:

“I saved $100 monthly over the course of 10-12 months and DCLT matched it for a total of $2400 for repairs. Their only requirement for the MIDA program was to attend financial workshops/seminars, save at your own rate, and then DCLT would match your savings total and contribute that amount in repairs for your house, while you kept your savings account for emergencies!

It is a “Hand-Up” and an opportunity to gain knowledge and resources, as well as to become economically empowered. You get to create a foundation as a new home-owner that you can build on and grow to the next level.”

Lawanda Lee Anderson is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. She is the founder of Words of Essence, LLC, an organization that positively empowers and uplifts the community through motivational speaking and sharing poetry.