Community Land Trust (PAHALI) Initiative

EPACANDO is proud of sponsoring the formation of the local Community Land Trust (CLT), which is now a separate and affiliated non-profit, “Preserving Affordable Housing Assets Longterm, Inc.” (PAHALI).


PAHALI seeks to limit skyrocketing home prices for a succession of home buyers in East Palo Alto, one property at a time.

“Preserving Affordable Housing Assets Longterm, Inc.” plans to do this by promoting a new type of home ownership where community assistance for home ownership is combined with deed restrictions and capped price appreciation.

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What is a Community Land Trust?

In short, a land trust owns the land only, separate from the buildings on it (parallel example: mobile-home park, where owners have title to their homes, and just rent their space from the overall park owner.)  A non-profit community land trust is usually established to hold land in perpetuity on behalf of the community for housing and other community-serving purposes.

The CLT leases its land to building owners, with a proviso that restricts the resale price of any buildings in order to assure permanent affordability for the community.

Community Land Trusts still being accepted in California

As recently as 2020, the State of California was just beginnig to recognize this new class of permanently-affordable home ownership, issuing instructions to county assessors for how to set home values  Among the requirements listed there


  • The contract between the CLT and the homeowner provides that the CLT leases the land that the home is situated on to the buyer for a renewable 99-year term.
  • The initial sale and future resales must be to persons and families of low or moderate income.
  • Persons and families of low or moderate income may either own the home directly or own a share of a limited equity housing cooperative…
From the State…

Community land trusts (CLT) are non-profit organizations that facilitate the development of permanently affordable for-sale and rental housing on land owned by the CLT. With respect to for-sale housing, CLTs make home ownership available at affordable prices to persons of low and moderate income. Buyers acquire full ownership of the improvements, but lease the underlying land parcels from the CLTs under renewable 99-year ground leases restricting resale to low- and moderate-income purchasers at affordable prices. This model allows CLTs to maintain permanent communities of affordable home ownership, even as individual homeowners replace each other over time.   … – California State Board of Equalization, letter to Assessors 2021


What is Pahali’s relationship to EPACANDO?

Pahali Community Land Trust (Pahali CLT) is an affiliate of EPACANDO.  Pahali CLT focuses on creating permanently affordable homeownership opportunities, especially to mitigate economic displacement of next-generation civic leaders. EPACANDO provides staffing for Pahali CLT programs, and lends working capital for Pahali projects.

Both Parties are committed to developing and stewarding permanently affordable homeownership (“PAHO”) opportunities, in which income-qualified homeowners may purchase housing at below-market costs, or may buy into cooperatively-owned limited-equity housing, in exchange for limitations on
the resale prices which ensure long-term affordability.

This work includes acquiring and holding land in perpetuity for community-serving PAHO uses in East Palo Alto and nearby, thus empowering residents to remain in their home community and build wealth through savings and home equity accumulation that does not contribute to community displacement.

EPACANDO/PAHALI’s first properties

Pahali is currently in the process of acquiring three homes on Garden Way. These properties were made available to Pahali at cost by Mid-Pen Housing. Some additional financing needed to be rounded up by EPACANDO. Initially the homes will become affordable rentals.

In the future EPACANDO has the option to transform them into affordable ownership units on land owned by by PAHALI.  Ownership units would have deed-restricted appreciation, perhaps a typical 5 percent.