Community Land Trust Forges Ahead

The CLT will be assisted in its capacity-building efforts through the support of National Penn Bank. Many thanks to our community minded friends at the bank for their support and leadership.

We are honored to have the opportunity to work with Van Temple, a CLT consultant.   We are learning that there is much to learn and we couldn’t be in better hands.  Here’s his (short) bio:

Van Temple serves as Executive Director of the Diamond State Community Land Trust, (Delaware), the first statewide community land trust, formed in 2006. Diamond State partners with non-profit and for-profit housing developers, housing counseling agencies, and jurisdictions across the state working for affordable, balanced housing.

Diamond State is active in NSP1, 2, 3 and other programs including development of two larger-scale subdivisions. Diamond State currently has twenty-four permanently affordable homes in the statewide inventory preserving $2 million in public investment. The Ford Foundation supports Diamond State as “one of the most promising local strategies that can most quickly achieve greater scale.”

Van consults in affordable housing/community development across the U.S. and has served as a CDC director, manager of social justice non-profits, and a thirteen-year career in management with the City of Dallas. Van serves as Vice-President of the Board of the National CLT Network, and is active in foreclosure solutions, public policy and funding initiatives and the national effort backed by the Ford Foundation and others to take shared-equity housing to scale.

We are transitioning the existing, local non-profit Preservation Pottstown to the CLT leadership. The organization’s original mission and by-laws dovetail with the mission of the CLT to increase homeownership, stabilize neighborhoods and engage in economic development.

The new leadership is committed to the principles of a Community Land Trust and will be focusing on organizational issues over the next few months, including making a name change that reflects the specific vision of a land trust. The interim Board of Directors during this period of transition includes:

David Jackson – President

Chris Huff – Vice President

Susan Amstfield – Treasurer

Dave Garner – Secretary

John Armato

Anna Johnson

Andrew Kefer

Mary-Beth Lydon

Brian Patrick

Tom Carroll & Sue Repko – Advisory Board

Holly Parker – Administrative Assistant

The CLT is proud to have two members – Chris Huff and Andrew Kefer – also serving on the Pottstown Planning Commission.

Finally, we have been pursuing a Community Garden project for a vacant parcel in the 400 block of Chestnut Street. The Pottstown School District owns the property, and the CLT will be partnering with the District and with Genesis Housing Corporation, whose landscape architect, Al Gryga of DePallo Design & Planning, has developed the site plan. The Mercury recently provided nice coverage here.

Community gardens involve residents in growing their own healthy foods, help families cut down on grocery bills, and beautify neighborhoods. This project will also provide community service and educational opportunities for Pottstown students.

The CLT’s Community Garden Committee is headed by Washington Street Corridor resident Katy Jackson. Other members include: Andrew Kefer, Mary-Beth Lydon, Andrew Monastra, Al Gryga, (DePallo Design & Planning, LLC), Judy Memberg (Genesis Housing Corporation), Eric Schmidt ( Colonial Gardens), and Joanne Waddell (President, Pottstown Garden Club).

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