Affordable Housing


Three newly finished houses at Cottages at Cannontown

IMAG0348            IMAG0343           IMAG0339

Athens Land Trust (ALT) is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing for residents of Athens-Clarke County. The monthly payments (including taxes and insurance) on the homes we sell usually run between $500 – $725 at current interest rates. Our goal is to help people buy homes so that they aren’t forced to rent their entire lives.

ALT sells the house to a family or individual and provides the homebuyer with a 99-year renewable ground lease for the land. The ALT homeowner has full use of the land just like any other homeowner. The owner of an ALT home can pass the home to their children just like any other homeowner. But if the homeowner decides to sell the house, ALT will buy the house back from them or help them find another low to moderate income family or individual to purchase the home.

Helping Neighborhoods 

ALT’s renovation of vacant houses brings life back into the neighborhood and reduces crime. It strengthens the neighborhood by creating area homeowners-permanent residents of a community take care of their investment and look out for the best interests of their neighborhood. ALT houses also provide permanent affordable housing in a neighborhood where rents are constantly on the rise. It helps families and individuals stay in the neighborhood where they have grown up. ALT houses will never turn into rental houses with absentee landlords and expensive rents. ALT is interested in saving the character of the neighborhoods by fixing up historic homes which would otherwise be destroyed.

Congratulations to ALT’s newest homeowners, Jill Carnes, Robby Cucchiaro, Kirrena Gallagher and Hannah Hay & Dain Marx!


Jill Carnes is an employee of The University of Georgia and a local artist!

Jill Carnes and Lara Mathes (left to right)

Robby Cucchiaro

Shavon Echols, Robby Cucchiaro and Lara Mathes (left to right)

Kirrena Gallagher2

Shavon Echols and Kirrena Gallagher (left to right)


Shavon Echols, Hannah Hay, Dain Marx and Lara Mathes (left to right)

Green Building practices that follow EarthCraft Standards save up to 75% on utilities for our residents

EarthCraft: By addressing the factors that impact homes in this region, including high heat, humidity and temperature swings, EarthCraft serves as a blueprint for energy, water, and resource-efficient single-family homes, multifamily structures, renovation projects, community developments and light-commercial buildings. Homes certified through the EarthCraft program must meet a number of criteria that ensure sustainable, efficient design and function. Areas of focus include:

  • Indoor air quality
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Resource-efficient design
  • Resource-efficient building materials
  • Waste management
  • Site planning

Insulated windows and Low-E Glass: Windows can account for up to 30% of the annual energy consumed in a home. Energy efficient Low-E windows greatly save on monthly utility costs. Low-E is a clear, low-emissivity coating applied to one side of the glass. It filters the sun’s energy in the summer and reduces heat loss in the winter.

High efficiency HVAC and ERV: The centralized heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system used to regulate temperature, humidity, and air quality creates more energy output per energy input. Because the house is tightly insulated with polyicynene and cellulose insulation, an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system is installed. The ERV system transfers heat from the warm inside air to cold supply air in winder, and in summer the inside air cools the warm supply air to reduce ventilation costs.

Energy Star Appliances: Energy Star Appliances use less energy, save money, and help conserve the environment.

Fluorescent Fixtures (CFLs): Compact fluorescent lighting is significantly more efficient than incandescent and requires only 25-35% of the energy to produce an equivalent amount of light. As LED technology advances, costs will allow switching to LED for lighting.

Metal Roofing: Fire-resistant metal roofing is sustainable. It contains significant recycled content that lasts longer than most nonmetal roofing products and is 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life. It also provides greater energy savings than most other roofing materials and has a low cost due to its durability and long life cycle lasting 2-3 times longer than the average non-metal roof.

Fiber Cement Siding:  Nichiha siding is made of over 50% post-consumer recycled content including fly ash diverted from landfills and is extremely durable. It resists damage from extended exposure to humidity, rain, and termites. It is also low maintenance and flame resistant.

Zero-VOC paints/hard floor surfaces: VOCs (volatile organic compounds), are carbon-based gases given off by polymers, solvents, or plasticizers at room temperature. Some VOCs are known carcinogens and may also cause eye and upper respiratory irritation, nasal congestion, headache and dizziness. The use of zero-VOC paints, low-VOC finishes and hard floor surfaces avoid unnecessary health risks to occupants.

Solar Ready: All houses are built solar ready in anticipation of donated solar panels or water heaters or the possibility of leasing solar panels in the future. Passive solar design is also utilized and we are currently installing our first donated solar water heater.

Materials: Building materials are sourced, salvages and recycled/reused from local non-profits and suppliers within a 500 mile radius.


Learn More…
What is a Community Land Trust
Steps To Homeownership

For more information please contact:

Shavon Echols,

Homeownership Coordinator

Mary O’Toole,

Housing Counselor


photo 3photo 1


_MG_8111_small872 Waddell_small 870 Waddell_small 868 Waddell_small