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Developing a Community Land Trust and Housing Land Bank

With 86 percent of Cape Cod's land already either developed or protected, acquiring available land for affordable housing development or redevelopment can be difficult and slow. During the development of the Regional Housing Strategy, the Cape Cod Commission heard this concern from many towns and other stakeholders across the region.

In response, the key recommendations outlined in the Regional Housing Strategy include establishing a regional housing land bank and a community land trust that will work together to acquire and facilitate the development of affordable housing on Cape Cod.

A land bank is an organization—either a public entity or a private nonprofit—that can acquire, hold, manage, redevelop, and dispose of property to aid in the development or redevelopment of affordable housing. A community land trust is a nonprofit organization that holds land in perpetuity for affordable housing, conservation, or another community purpose. On Cape Cod, land trusts have been established for conservation purposes.

The Cape Cod Commission has contracted with Outwith Studio to support the establishment of a regional housing land bank and community land trust on Cape Cod. Outwith will make recommendations regarding the type of organization, organizational policies, staffing, estimated budgets, and management structure of the regional housing land bank and community land trust. They will recommend sectors that should be represented on the Board of Directors and in leadership roles within the organization. They will also outline the approval and implementation process for establishing a regional housing land bank and community land trust with the participation of all 15 Cape Cod towns and assist with outreach and engagement methods.

Outwith will prepare drafts of policies and procedures for the regional housing land bank and community land trust regarding the identification, prioritization, acquisition, holdings, and development of available properties. Lastly, they will develop performance metrics to monitor the effectiveness of regional housing land banks and community land trusts.

This work is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.

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