Oct. 12, 2022
Chesterfield and the nonprofit Maggie Walker Community Land Trust will cohost a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, for a first-of-its-kind residential project in the South Chesterfield village of Ettrick.
The Ettrick Landing subdivision will be developed on the site of the former Ettrick Elementary School Annex. Chesterfield demolished the vacant school building and conveyed ownership of the property to the land trust for the purpose of creating affordable home ownership opportunities.
“Chesterfield County is committed to promoting housing affordability and sustainable development,” said Matoaca District Supervisor Kevin Carroll. “The land trust model is an innovative approach to making home ownership more accessible to our community’s working families and can serve as a steppingstone to more conventional, market-rate home ownership opportunities.”
Ettrick Landing will feature 10 affordable one- and two-story single-family homes, each with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, ranging in size from 1,300 to 1,700 square feet. The anticipated sale price for the new homes ranges from $150,000 to $180,000 -- a price point that is affordable to families earning between approximately $35,000 and $75,000 per year, or 60% to 80% of area median household income.
“Research shows that having access to stable, quality housing in good neighborhoods is associated with educational attainment, positive health and welfare outcomes, and financial prosperity for individuals and families,” said Dan Cohen, director of Chesterfield’s Community Enhancement Department. “Having a sufficient supply of housing that is affordable to our workforce, at all points along the income continuum, is critical in supporting a vibrant and sustainable local economy.”
Chesterfield’s partnership with Maggie Walker Community Land Trust began in 2018, when the Board of Supervisors allocated $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for the acquisition of residential properties in the county. The land trust typically rehabilitates a house and re-sells it, while retaining ownership of the land beneath; that reduces costs for income-qualified homebuyers even as real estate values continue to rise.
So far, the land trust has completed and re-sold 10 permanently affordable houses in Chesterfield at an average price of $160,000, or 43% of the median sale price countywide. It has another 24 houses in the pipeline, including the 10 at Ettrick Landing.
What’s unique about this project, other than the collaboration between the county government and nonprofit? It’s the first subdivision the land trust is developing from the ground up.
As it does with existing properties, the land trust will continue to own the 10 lots in Ettrick Landing. That will keep the homes affordable in perpetuity and enable households to build equity without becoming cost-burdened.
“This project marks a milestone for MWCLT and our region -- to be building not just one permanently affordable home, but a permanently affordable community,” said Erica Sims, CEO of Maggie Walker Community Land Trust. “It has been many years in the making and required many partners, but it is further evidence we can create a lasting impact on housing affordability in our community.”