Frequently Asked Questions

The Athens Land Trust (ALT) is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing for residents of Athens-Clarke County. Please review this FAQ for a quick overview of what we are about.

What is it? 
The 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 – $650 at current interest rates. Our goal is to help people buy homes so that they aren’t forced to rent their entire lives.

How does it work? 
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.

Who is eligible? 
Since we receive government assistance for our housing program, a family or individual cannot make more than 80% of the area median income. Check the chart below to see if you are eligible.

Number of Family Members 1 2 3 4 5 6
Maximum Family Income 2014 $31,100 $35,550 $40,000 $44,400 $48,000 $51,550

How does it help the homebuyer?
ALT homes are less expensive than other houses on the market. In some cases, ALT is willing to allow a person to do a lease-purchase while they are working on clearing up their credit to be eligible for a mortgage. ALT is a long-term resource for an ALT homeowner, we are here to help you succeed.

How does it help the neighborhood? 
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.

215 Colima Before 215 Colima After

 

130 Andrea Before 130 Andrea After

Why does ALT keep ownership of the land?
Because land has become so expensive, ALT makes the house more affordable by not selling the land. You buy the house and we keep the land, but you get to use the land without having to pay for it. This allows us to help more families. By keeping the land ALT can legally keep the house affordable forever.

Where are our houses? 
Most of the houses we have are in the Hancock Corridor or East Athens, areas once thought of as less desirable but rapidly becoming some of the hottest in-town neighborhoods. If a family finds a house outside of these neighborhoods and wants to be part of our program, ALT may be able to help the family in purchasing the home.

What if my credit is bad? 
All ALT applicants receive housing counseling, which usually includes helping applicants re-build credit and improve their credit scores. ALT’s housing counselor will work individually with applicants to address credit problems.

For More Information
For more information on the Affordable Housing Program, please contact the Athens Land Trust: 706-613-0122 or use the form: