Our vision

Our vision is to interrupt the patterns of displacement and gentrification in black and brown communities by providing a mechanism for the community to own land and compete with cash buyers to create affordable homeownership for legacy families.

Our approach

Here to Stay Community Land Trust retains low- to moderate-income legacy households across Hermosa and parts of Avondale, Humboldt Park and Logan Square through affordable homeownership and communal ownership of the land.

Our history

Logan Square and Hermosa are mixed income and multi-ethnic communities on Chicago’s Northwest Side. While adjacent to Hermosa, Logan Square has undergone gentrification over the last 15 years and is now very different demographically, although 15 years ago they were quite similar. Now there is a great disconnect between what families in our Northwest Side communities can afford and current home prices and the rapid appreciation of home prices.

Logan Square, for example, lost 20,000 Latinx residents from 2000 through 2018 as home prices increased at an average of 8% per year, reaching a median single-family home price in Logan Square of $700,000 in 2017. In 2015, Hermosa’s Latinx population was 88% while Logan Square’s had fallen from 66% in 2000 to 46% in 2015. The percentage of high school graduates or higher was 62% for Hermosa and 88% for Logan Square. Median household income was $39,505 in Hermosa compared to $60,808 in Logan Square and $53,006 for Chicago as a whole.

In West Logan Square and Hermosa, 48% of homeowners are cost burdened (housing costs exceeding 30% of income) versus 31% in East Logan Square. Renters have an even more difficult situation with 58% of renters being cost burdened versus 37% of renters in East Logan Square, where most displacement has already occurred. Median value of mortgages in 2015 for West Logan Square and Hermosa was $236,000 versus $376,000 for Logan Square as a whole.

Against this backdrop, in 2018 LSNA led a community planning process for West Logan Square and Hermosa, funded and supported by LISC-Chicago. The affordable housing committee identified policies, programs, and organizing campaigns that would together form a robust response to the gentrification of the community. The plan, published in October of 2018 was called Here to Stay and one of signature projects of the plan was the development of a Community Land Trust of the same name. Members of the committee included staff and leaders from all four founding organizations and after extensive research and organizing, they determined the best way to establish the community land trust was to develop a separate 501c3 non profit organization that was incorporated in September 2019. Here to Stay’s first acquisition for its portfolio is on schedule to be completed by fall 2021.

By closing the affordability gap, Here to Stay presents a permanent solution that allows low- to moderate-income legacy families to remain in the community they’ve called home for decades by providing affordable home ownership and naturally occurring affordable rental opportunities (from the rental of the units in two and three flats).