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University of Pennsylvania

Community land trusts make their pitch

Community land trusts make their pitch

When longtime renter Ben Peterson first saw the listing for a small two-bedroom rowhouse in Frederick, the 36-year-old was struck by the price, which appeared within his grasp even though a career in nonprofits left him with only moderate income and savings.

That deal, it turned out, was precisely the point.

Peterson's home, which he purchased in August for about $154,000, is one of the first in Maryland to be sold by a community land trust — but several groups in Baltimore hope there will be more.

Activists in Baltimore are working to create at least three new community land trusts, nonprofits that develop or oversee affordable housing and other community assets...