Clackamas Community Land Trust Breaks Ground on First Earth Advantage Community Project

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The Clackamas Community Land Trust has broken ground on the first certified Earth Advantage® Community residential development project. The Oregon City event celebrates the start of construction for Juneberry Lane, a twelve-unit affordable home project for residents earning between 30% and 80% of median family income. Not only is the development the first project certified, but each of the homes will be constructed to meet the LEED for Homes standard. A one story three-bedroom home is projected to sell for about $124,000.

Oregon City, Ore. September 28, 2009 -- The Clackamas Community Land Trust has broken ground on the first certified Earth Advantage® Community residential development project. The Oregon City event celebrates the start of construction for Juneberry Lane, a twelve-unit affordable home project for residents earning between 30% and 80% of median family income. Not only is the development the first project certified, but each of the homes will be constructed to meet the LEED for Homes standard. A one story three-bedroom home is projected to sell for about $124,000.

Buying through the Community Land Trust
When buyers purchase with the Clackamas Community Land Trust, they are buying into stable homeownership. The community land trust (CLT) foreclosure rate across the country in 2008 was 0.06 percent, far below the two percent general foreclosure rate during recent crisis months, and even below rates from more stable years. These data offer striking evidence that the CLT method of homeownership is a safer way to help families become homeowners and remain homeowners. Community land trusts have insulated their homeowners from the "too-good-to-be-true" refinancing trend that has affected so many low- and moderate-income American families. Vacant, foreclosed homes attract crime, lower surrounding real estate values, and devastate families and neighborhoods.

"We provide great homes for hardworking families and others who simply cannot afford to purchase a house on the market," said Sarah Buckley, CCLT Executive Director. "The folks who buy with us are investing in their future by providing stability and security for their children and the opportunity build equity and assets to improve their lives. Our average buyer has a household income of $32,000."

Benefits of Earth Advantage Community Standard
The Earth Advantage Community standard provides third party certification for multiple home and mixed use projects, documenting that they are designed and constructed to be sustainable, livable communities. The Community standard includes requirements related to natural resource management, community connectivity and access to public transportation, and on-going resident education. For example, a stormwater management plan must be developed and put in place; common area landscaping cannot include invasive species or plants requiring permanent irrigation; all residents are given educational materials about their home and community's sustainable features. Every home within an Earth Advantage Community must also be third party certified. More information about the Community standard may be found on the Earth Advantage Institute website.

"This groundbreaking is a real landmark for the Earth Advantage Community standard. Juneberry Lane clearly demonstrates that high quality, sustainable homes can be affordable," said Earth Advantage Community program manager Ann Griffin. "Community certification will further add to the value of the homes at Juneberry Lane. It's a clear win for the future residents, for CCLT and for Oregon City."

Sustainable Community Features
The Juneberry Lane community will include common garden space, a rain harvesting and irrigation system with catchbasin for water efficiency, central mailboxes and community bulletin board area, construction of all the homes using sustainable materials, and common designs that yield high energy efficiency, including on-demand hot water heating, blown insulation, and heat recovery ventilators with air-to-water heat exchanger.

Earth Advantage Institute launched the Earth Advantage Community standard in September 2008, with support from Energy Trust of Oregon. Earth Advantage Institute is also a LEED for Homes provider. Earth Advantage Institute certification programs are part of its strategy to create greater health and comfort in homes, communities and commercial spaces while reducing carbon emissions from the built environment.

About Earth Advantage Institute:
Earth Advantage Institute works with homeowners, homebuyers, builders, and developers to bring the most energy efficient, sustainable, and healthy homes to the market. The organization is an independent, nonprofit resource group that certifies homes and communities based on conformance to ENERGY STAR®, Earth Advantage®, or LEED® for Homes standards. Earth Advantage Institute also offers education classes and has a showroom at its national center in Portland, Oregon. The organization has certified more than 11,000 new homes.

About Clackamas Community Land Trust:
Clackamas Community Land Trust provides permanently affordable homeownership opportunities and related educational resources to people of modest means. CCLT enables homebuyers of modest means in Clackamas County to have access to healthy, quality homes, be successful in purchasing and maintaining their home, and see CCLT as their resource for all types of homeownership information. CCLT has served 39 low-income homebuyers in its home purchase program and thousands of first-time low-income homebuyers with the education and counseling needed to be successful in home purchase.

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Tom Breunig
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