Florida Keys Community Land Trust
The Florida Keys Community Land Trust (CLT) demonstrates how land trusts can deliver resilient affordable housing options in disaster-affected areas. The Florida Keys, a 125-mile long chain of islands off the southern tip of Florida in Monroe County, were devastated in 2017 by Hurricane Irma. Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key as a Category 4 hurricane and its sustained winds of 132 mph and 8-foot storm surge devastated homes, businesses, and infrastructure in the Lower and Middle Keys. Twenty-five percent of the homes in the Florida Keys were damaged or destroyed by the storm, with disproportionate impacts on manufactured homes that made up the bulk of affordable housing in the County. In the aftermath of the storm, the Florida Keys CLT was established to acquire disaster-affected properties and build resilient workforce housing for middle- and lower-income renters in the Keys. The CLT has acquired almost thirty lots and completed construction of 4 homes, with 5 additional homes in development and another 22 homes planned. The CLT is building energy efficient and resilient 2- and 3-bedroom cottages for families earning 80 percent or less of area median income and earning at least 70 percent of their income from work in Monroe County. The Cottages are built to withstand 200 mph winds and are elevated 12 feet, exceeding flood design standards required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
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