To our friends in State College, Centre County and beyond,
We usually celebrate June as National Homeownership month, but the protests against police killings of unarmed black people taking place around the globe over the last 3 weeks have given us pause. These protests are as much about racial injustice as they are about police violence, and we know that housing policies and practices have long been a tool used to reinforce racial injustice in this country.
As an organization tasked with preserving land and housing for community good, we recognize that we are unable to fulfill our mission of advancing access to safe, stable housing for all without first addressing the detrimental effects of structural racism in housing. We unite in solidarity with those demanding justice and commit to taking decisive action to better support and engage Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to hold positions of influence and leadership in our organization. We condemn a culture of white supremacy in which police brutality and housing segregation is the result, and we state, unequivocally, that Black Lives Matter.
As we listen, learn, and reflect in the coming weeks on concrete actions we can take, we seek to center the voices, experiences and needs of our BIPOC neighbors.
The following resources (organizations, reading materials, podcasts and more) we have found helpful, and hope that you may as well.
In humble solidarity,
- Segregated By Design (video)
- Arc of Justice (film), documentary about the first community land trust founded in Albany, GA in 1969.
- Race for Profit, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (book)
- Evicted, by Matthew Desmond (book)
- Mapping the Black Homeownership Gap (article, Urban Institute, February 26, 2018)
- The Geography of Inequality (article, American Political Science Review, June 2020)
- There Goes the Neighborhood (podcast)
- Scene on Radio, Season 2: Seeing White (podcast)
- Race Forward, organization that catalyzes movement building for racial justice. Their website has many racial justice tools, modules, videos and more.
- The Great Unlearn, website/curricula. Author and activist Rachel Cargle has created an online self-paced learning platform to guide people through the unlearning of white supremacy. Available on Patreon and Instagram.
A closing held any way, even via Zoom makes for a great day, but TWO closings in one day makes this a FANTASTIC FRIDAY! The family pictured is already a land trust family who grew, and needed a bigger home. Luckily for them, and us, and the neighborhood, a larger land trust home became available when another family moved out of the area. As this family prepares to move into their new, larger home, our 70th homeowners prepare to move into the home they are leaving behind. We are so proud to be able to keep this family in the neighborhood and to welcome our 70th homeowners all in the same day! Thanks to everyone who brought these homeowners across the finish line, and 3 cheers for permanent affordability!
SCCLT's Real Estate and Rehab Committee spent some time checking out a home in the Highlands last week. Among chief considerations of any potential SCCLT home are price, condition and space. While A home must be able to be rehabbed and remain affordable for a land trust homebuyer, since SCCLT is going to rehab a home before selling to an income qualified buyer, it is not important that a home be move-in ready in order for a home to be considered by SCCLT. Nor is a speedy timeline important. We often work with an interested seller to acquire a home on their timeline, enabling them to focus on the hard work of moving, instead of worrying about listing and showings.
Members, homeowners, board, staff and friends of SCCLT gathered at the New Leaf Initiative on Thursday, January 16 for our 24th Annual Meeting. Attendees got 2019 highlights, hearb about 2020 opportunities on the horizon, welcomed new board members, recognized outgoing board members, and even did a little crafting. Attendees created origami versions of their own homes, and placed them on a colorful floor map of the borough, and also shared their favorite SCCLT memories and hopes and dreams for the next 25 years.
Special thanks to outgoing board members Peter Morris, and Jerry Wettstone, and kudos to Joe Cortazzo for his contributions to SCCLT's outreach efforts.