DES MOINES – The non-profit A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy or AMOS met last week with Polk County officials to discuss starting a community land trust to add more affordable housing to the metro.

Polk County is short around 11,000 affordable housing units, and the need keeps growing. The county has many affordable housing initiatives already that have provided tens of millions of dollars in funding for housing projects.

Polk County isn’t taking an active role in AMOS’s community land trust, however, it did offer some advice.

Angela Connolly, the Polk County 2nd District Supervisor, said that AMOS should work with other affordable housing non-profits to do the most good.

“There’s a lot of non-profits throughout Polk County and what we suggested to them was maybe join forces with another non-profit because there’s a lot of them out there that might want to do an initiative like this,” Connolly said.

Community land trusts are where a piece of land is bought and set aside for a specific purpose for a community. In AMOS’s case, the land trust would be for affordable housing.

The community land trust would have a board of supervisors that help enforce the rules they set. To ensure housing stays affordable there would be limits on the type and price of housing in the land trust.

Connolly said that community land trusts could benefit generations of first-time homeowners.

“This is strictly for the one-time homeowner, maybe it’s the first-time homeowner that would do it and that will continue in the neighborhood for families. Maybe the next generation to buy that home so it’s affordable for them,” Connolly said.

To learn more about community land trusts and what AMOS has planned visit their website