The Thomas Jefferson Community Land Trust, or TJCLT, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization created in 2008. It was the first Community Land Trust established in the state of Virginia and serves Charlottesville and the surrounding counties. The TJCLT is designed to create homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate-income families who may otherwise not be able to afford to purchase a home in the Charlottesville housing market — families who make 80% or less of the Area Median Income. To do so, the community land trust purchases the land and holds it in trust while the homeowner purchases the improvements on the land (the home). TJCLT and the homeowner enter into a 90-year ground lease that details the responsibilities of both parties. Removing the cost of the land for the homeowner often reduces the monthly payments by 20–40%.
The TJCLT is working to maintain the character, vibrancy, and diversity of Charlottesville and the surrounding communities by bridging the gap between the area’s increasingly high property values and the moderate incomes of many of the people who live and work there — people who are vital to the community’s future. The TJCLT is dedicated to the long-term success of its homebuyers by providing financial and homeownership counseling and post-purchase support and assistance. The goal of the TJCLT is to balance the interests of present homeowners with the long-term goals of the community to provide permanently affordable housing for future generations.