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Habitat for Humanity adopts new land trust initiative

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WILMINGTON -- A lack of affordable local housing is pushing the Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity chapter to adopt a new land trust initiative. The partnership between Habitat and the Affordable Housing Coalition is to ensure people have affordable housing for generations to come. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity, Dorothy Hyman and Wendy James are first-time homeowners. Hyman said, "It has been something I really can't explain, it is very rewarding." James said, "I'm very grateful and thankful and it's just an amazing feeling." Habitat is dedicated to keeping housing affordable. That's evident through a new land trust initiative, which is an option for homeowners like Hyman and James. Erin Diener with the Cape Fear Housing Land Trust said, "It separates the house from the land into two separate entities. Homeowners have all rights that typical homeowners have, they have rights to the land, but they do not own the land and the community land trust keeps the land in stewardship." The goal of the non-profit land trust is to increase the number of permanently affordable housing to promote social and economic diversity in the community. This habitat neighborhood is now affordable and greener thanks to a 50-tree donation from the John S. Clark company in honor of its 50th anniversary. "They're going to make our neighborhood very outstanding, beautiful, we're excited about it," Diener said. After planting their first tree Hyman and James now look forward to establishing their own roots with their families in their first homes. The housing land trust is all about making owning a home a reality for people who otherwise would struggle to do so. Community housing organizations are supporting this effort. To learn how to participate in the program visit http://www.capefearhabitat.org/contact.htm

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