The Home Trust of Skagit Community Land Trust, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization based on Mount Vernon, has begun a podcast dedicated to highlighting the challenges residents face with the lack of affordable housing in Skagit County and elsewhere.
“Everybody’s Neighbor” is in its third week, having posted its latest episode Tuesday about La Conner resident Bob Abrams, an 87-year-old local celebrity who had an illustrious career working for Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbara and other animation studios. Abrams lives in Channel Cove in La Conner and is well known in the area for his art. In the podcast, Abrams talks about his challenges living on a fixed income while his rent continue to rise.
Home Trust Executive Director Jodi Monroe said that the “Everybody’s Neighbor” podcast was born out of a desire to have people’s stories heard.
“We have an affordable housing crisis, but who does it affect? Our neighbors,” Monroe said. “We all need to take care of each other and listen to what each other has to say. Home Trust wants “Everybody’s Neighbor” to be a place where stories can be told, voices can be heard, and information can be shared. ‘Everybody’s Neighbor’ can make a difference in people’s lives.”
Monroe said there doesn’t appear to be a podcast produced by a community land trust organization anywhere.
“It was a great opportunity for us,” Monroe said. “We have great plans and high hopes. We plan on interviewing lots of people, as well as our partners, and have a program online that gets better and better.”
A community land trust helps potential homeowners with their downpayment, the biggest hurdle potential homeowners face. In exchange, homeowners lease the land on which their home sits from Home Trust. Upon resale, the homeowner shares their equity so that the money can be reinvested for other homebuyers.
Home Trust owns two community land trust neighborhoods in Skagit County: Summerlynd, an 11-home development in Mount Vernon, and Channel Cove, a townhome community that has a mix of renters and homeowners. Home Trust also has three other homes in its portfolio.
Summerlynd and Channel Cove have been built in partnership with Skagit Habitat and with funding from a variety of sources.
Home Trust is preparing to build five more homes at Channel Cove, and is seeking homeowners for other properties.
“Everybody’s Neighbor” can be found on iTunes, SoundCloud, Home Trust’s Facebook page, Twitter and on its website at www.hometrustofskagit.org.
For more information, contact Home Trust at (360) 428-0014 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.