- Complete all program steps.
- Meet income guidelines at or below 80% of Lawrence median income.
- Qualify for a home loan from a LCHT lender. This means you must have stable verifiable income, good credit and a low debt-to-income ratio.
- Have a credit score of 670 or higher (if your credit is not there now, we can help you work on it).
- No bankruptcies in the last 2 years.
- Good bill pay within the last 2 years.
Homes must be owner-occupied; LCHT does not subsidize landlords.
If you are unsure if you qualify or have questions about the program please call our office at 785-842-5494.
Current Income Guidelines (Updated June 2023, Next Update June 2024)
Your total gross household income must not exceed the following income limits. Thresholds change annually in accordance with HUD guidelines. Income limits for Moderate Income Housing project in Baldwin City are different, click here to see limits listed on Baldwin City page.
|Max. Annual Gross Income
Why buy through Tenants to Homeowners?
Everything about our Home Purchase Program is built to reduce barriers to homeownership. Homeowners who buy from us benefit from:
Affordable Price: We reduce purchase prices using Federal, State, and other grant funding or donations. The average price reduction (we call it subsidy) is $50,000.
Affordable Downpayment: Buyers only need 5% of their annual gross income down. Someone working full time for $15/hr and gross about $31K a year could purchase a home with under $2,000 down.
Closing Costs: We cover closing costs for all first-time homebuyers, this means an additional $4,500 in fees and pre-paid taxes and insurance that buyers don’t have to pay at closing.
Free Homebuyer Education: We require all homebuyers to attend a homebuyer workshop to learn the basics of homeownership. We also require all homebuyers to get budget and/or credit counseling from Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. prior to making the decision to purchase.
No PMI: Costly Private Mortgage Insurance is commonly required when low downpayments are made to protect the lender’s interest in a property from the market dropping. Our subsidy provides the cushion lenders need to feel secure, meaning no PMI is required.
Fixed Rate Loans: We work with local, reputable lenders to offer fixed rate, conventional loans. This means that the interest rate you have when you start your morgage will not increase and become unaffordable.
Foreclosure Protection: We have never had a foreclosure in our program because we will either buy your house back from you or find a buyer who wants it. This protects you from losing any equity you’ve built in paying off your mortgage and protects your credit from the damage foreclosure can do.
Required Maintenance Savings: We hold maintenance savings accounts for all homes in trust. These savings accounts stay with the home and are there to help with emergency maintenance, routine maintenance, and maintenance required at resale. All homeowners are required to put $25 a month in their homes savings account.
Maintenance Support: We have a General Contractor on staff as well as rental maintenance staff. While we don’t provide free home maintenance to homeowners, we can be a resource for maintenance questions and assistance.
Program Support: Our homebuyer program manager is available to help homeowners at times when extra support is needed by referring to community resources for senior support, utility assistance, credit counseling, food assistance, and more.
How we create & preserve affordable housing
How does the Housing Trust guarantee continual affordability?
The Lawrence Community Housing Trust builds new homes and rehabilitates old homes, then sells to eligible buyers for approximately $50,000 less than the home’s market appraisal value. In exchange for this subsidy, the buyers agree that if they resell their LCHT home, the price will be affordable to another eligible buyer. Read more about this affordability model in a national scope at: http://www.cltnetwork.org/
What does this mean?
To the LCHT sellers, this means they gain equity from mortgage payments, plus improvements made to the land and 25% of the market appreciation. To the new LCHT homebuyer, this means the house is affordable because the purchase price has not skyrocketed.
Doesn’t a restricted resale agreement reduce the profit from homeownership?
No, because those who qualify for our program don’t have other options for homeownership. They either cannot afford the market rates or cannot afford to repair an initially affordable home that needs a lot of work. The housing trust provides a chance for a low-to-moderate-income family to buy a home. The resale profit to an LCHT homeowner, while limited, is something renting never provides.
Why do we restrict the resale prices?
Because it costs so much money to make a house affordable, we want to keep the house affordable beyond the first purchase. Studies indicate the demand for affordable housing will explode in the next ten years, and it’s important that every dollar that makes homes affordable now is saved to keep them affordable later.
How, exactly does the limited resale agreement work?
Legally, LCHT separates ownership of the house from ownership of the land the house sits in. LCHT sells the house to an eligible buyer and leases the land to the buyer for $30 per month. The new LCHT homeowner uses the property like any other homeowner – Painting, mowing, putting up a fence – LCHT isn’t a typical landlord. The land-lease agreement is the legal method that allows LCHT to keep the home affordable to the next buyer. When ready to sell, the homeowner calls us.
What is a "Community Land Trust"?
TTH, Inc. is a private, nonprofit 5O1(c)(3) corporation created to hold land and to preserve affordable housing for Lawrence residents with low and moderate incomes. TTH is a membership nonprofit. Each year the membership votes for its Board of Directors and this Board includes leaseholders and representatives of the neighborhoods that are served.
TTH has adopted the classic community land trust (CLT) model. The “classic” CLT – as that model has been described by The Institute for Community Economics over the last 30 years and as it has been defined in federal statute since 1992 – has ten distinctive features:
1. Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Organization
2. Dual Ownership
3. Leased Land
4. Perpetual Affordability
5. Perpetual Responsibility
8. Tripartite Government
9. Expansionist Acquisition
10. Flexible Development
1. Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Organization:
A Community Land Trust is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, legally chartered by its home state. Most CLTs target activities and resources charitably, such as providing housing for low-income people or eliminating neighborhood blight, which qualifies them for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation from the IRS.
2. Dual Ownership:
A nonprofit corporation (the CLT) acquires parcels of land throughout a targeted geographic area to permanently retain ownership of these parcels. Any building already located on the land or later constructed on the land is sold to an individual homeowner, a cooperative housing corporation, a nonprofit developer of rental housing, or some other nonprofit, governmental, or for-profit entity.
3. Leased Land:
Although the CLT plans never to resell its land, it grants homeowners exclusive rights to the building through a long-term ground lease. This two-party contract between the land owner (the CLT) and a building’s owner protects the lessee’s (the building owner) interests in security, privacy, legacy, and equity, as well as enforcing the lessor’s (i.e., the CLTs) interests in preserving the appropriate use, the structural integrity, and the continuing affordability of any buildings located upon its land.
4. Perpetual Affordability:
The CLT retains an option to repurchase any buildings on its land should the building owners choose to sell. The resale price is set by a formula, contained in the ground lease, designed to give present low-income homeowners a fair return on their investment, while giving future low-income homebuyers affordable housing opportunities. By design and by intent, the CLT is committed to preserving the affordability of housing (and other structures)—one owner after another, one generation after another, in perpetuity.
5. Perpetual Responsibility:
The CLT does not disappear once a building is sold. As owner of the land under multiple buildings and as owner of an option to repurchase those buildings, the CLT has a continuing interest in what happens to the buildings and to those who occupy them. Should property owners allow their buildings to become a hazard, the ground lease gives the CLT the right to step in and to force repairs. Should these property owners default on their mortgages, the ground lease gives the CLT the right to step in and cure the default, forestalling foreclosure. The CLT remains a party to the deal, safeguarding the structural integrity of the building and the residential security of the occupants.
The CLT operates within the physical boundaries of a targeted locality. It is guided by—and accountable to—the people who call that place their home. Any adult who resides on the CLTs land and any adult who lives within the geographic area deemed by the CLT to be its “community” can become a voting member of the CLT.
Two-thirds of a CLT’s board of directors are nominated by, elected by and composed of people who either live on the CLT’s land or people who reside within the CLT’s targeted “community” but do not live on the CLT’s land.
8. Tripartite Government:
The board of directors of the “classic” CLT is composed of three parts, each containing an equal number of seats. One-third of the board represents the interests of people who lease land from the CLT (“leaseholder representatives”). One-third represents the interests of residents from the surrounding community who do not lease CLT land (“general representative”). One-third includes public officials, local funders, nonprofit providers of housing or social services, and other individuals presumed to speak for the general public (“public interest representative”). Control of the CLTs board is diffused and balanced to ensure that all interests are heard but that no interest is predominant.
9. Expansionist Acquisition:
CLTs are not focused on a single project. They are committed to an active acquisition and development program, aimed at expanding their holdings of land and increasing the supply of affordable housing under their stewardship. Most CLTs do their own development with their own staff. Others leave development to nonprofit or governmental partners, focusing their own efforts on assembling parcels of land and preserving the affordability of the housing upon it.
10. Flexible Development:
The CLT is a community development tool of great flexibility, accommodating a variety of land uses and a diversity of building tenures and types. CLTs around the country construct (or acquire, rehabilitate, and resell) housing of many kinds: single-family homes, duplexes, condos, coops, SROs, multi-unit apartment buildings, and mobile home parks. CLTs create facilities for neighborhood businesses, nonprofit organizations, and social service agencies. CLTs provide sites for community gardens and vest-pocket parks. Land is the common ingredient, linking them all.