Affordable Housing

Athens Land Trust (ALT) provides affordable housing for residents of Athens-Clarke. Our goal is to help people buy homes so that renting is not their only option. Purchase price is based on market rates. As part of each sale, ALT provides the homebuyer with a 99-year renewable ground lease, which ensures that ALT houses will never turn into rental houses with absentee landlords and expensive rents. The ALT homeowner has full use of the land just like any other homeowner, and can even pass the home on to his or her children. If the homeowner decides to sell the house, ALT will buy the house back from them or find another low to moderate income family or individual to purchase the home.

For more information about homeownership opportunities with Athens Land Trust, please attend an Affordable Housing Information Session. To apply for homeownership with Athens Land Trust, you must attend an Info Session before receiving an application. We are unable to host in-person info sessions at this time due to the threat of COVID-19 to our community, and these info sessions will be hosted online via Zoom until it is safe to host public gatherings again. There is no charge to attend an info session.

For information about our rental program, please see “Rental Options” to learn more.


ALT preserves the historic character of neighborhoods by fixing up older homes which would otherwise be destroyed. The renovation of vacant houses brings life back into the neighborhood and reduces crime. It helps families and individuals stay in the neighborhood where they have grown up and strengthens the community by empowering permanent homeowners to take care of their investment and look out for the best interests of their neighborhood.

See a map of ALT’s housing properties across Athens-Clarke County.

215 Colima Before
215 Colima After
Paris Street Before
Paris Street After
130 Andrea Before
130 Andrea After

Am I eligible for the program?

ALT homes are available for families and individuals that earn no more than 80% of the area median income. See the chart below for the maximum family household income limit in our area.

Athens-Clarke County 2021 Income Limits: Persons in Household

1 person 2 persons 3 persons 4 persons 5 persons 6 persons 7 persons
43,050 49,200 55,330 61,500 66,450 71,350 76,300

Permanently Affordable & Shared-Equity Homeownership

Below are two diagrams that describe more about how housing with a community land trust works, including the benefits to building assets and equity for communities.

By taking the price of the land out of a property, CLTs like Athens Land Trust create permanently affordable housing, and more homeownership opportunities to members of the community.
[Diagram and text courtesy] Does shared-equity homeownership build assets? Yes. And keeps them safer than traditional homeownership does. Various graphs and charts follow to back up this assertion. Image links to pdf version.
Courtesy of (clicking the image will open the diagram as a PDF.)

Green Building practices that follow EarthCraft Standards save up to 75% on utilities for our residents.

By addressing the factors that impact homes in this region, including high heat, humidity and temperature swings, EarthCraft serves as a blueprint for energy, water, and resource-efficient single-family homes, multifamily structures, renovation projects, community developments and light-commercial buildings. Homes certified through the EarthCraft program must meet a number of criteria that ensure sustainable, efficient design and function. Areas of focus include:

  • Indoor air quality
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Resource-efficient design
  • Resource-efficient building materials
  • Waste management
  • Site planning

Insulated windows and Low-E Glass: Windows can account for up to 30% of the annual energy consumed in a home. Energy efficient Low-E windows greatly save on monthly utility costs. Low-E is a clear, low-emissivity coating applied to one side of the glass. It filters the sun’s energy in the summer and reduces heat loss in the winter.

High efficiency HVAC and ERV: The centralized heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system used to regulate temperature, humidity, and air quality creates more energy output per energy input. Because the house is tightly insulated with polyicynene and cellulose insulation, an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system is installed. The ERV system transfers heat from the warm inside air to cold supply air in winder, and in summer the inside air cools the warm supply air to reduce ventilation costs.

Energy Star Appliances: Energy Star Appliances use less energy, save money, and help conserve the environment.

Fluorescent Fixtures (CFLs): Compact fluorescent lighting is significantly more efficient than incandescent and requires only 25-35% of the energy to produce an equivalent amount of light. As LED technology advances, costs will allow switching to LED for lighting.

Metal Roofing: Fire-resistant metal roofing is sustainable. It contains significant recycled content that lasts longer than most nonmetal roofing products and is 100% recyclable at the end of its useful life. It also provides greater energy savings than most other roofing materials and has a low cost due to its durability and long life cycle lasting 2-3 times longer than the average non-metal roof.

Fiber Cement Siding:  Nichiha siding is made of over 50% post-consumer recycled content including fly ash diverted from landfills and is extremely durable. It resists damage from extended exposure to humidity, rain, and termites. It is also low maintenance and flame resistant.

Zero-VOC paints/hard floor surfaces: VOCs (volatile organic compounds), are carbon-based gases given off by polymers, solvents, or plasticizers at room temperature. Some VOCs are known carcinogens and may also cause eye and upper respiratory irritation, nasal congestion, headache and dizziness. The use of zero-VOC paints, low-VOC finishes and hard floor surfaces avoid unnecessary health risks to occupants.

Solar Ready: When feasible, our houses are built solar ready in anticipation of donated solar panels or water heaters or the possibility of leasing solar panels in the future. Passive solar design is also utilized and we are currently installing our first donated solar water heater.

Materials: Building materials are sourced, salvages and recycled/reused from local non-profits and suppliers within a 500 mile radius.


The Program is funded through a federal HOME grant and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).  The federal HOME Program (Home Investment Partnerships Program) was created by the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, and allocates funds to participating jurisdictions for home-ownership projects, owner-rehabilitation projects and rental-rehabilitation projects.  Non-profits and other agencies apply to the local jurisdiction for funds to assist with their projects.

Participants will not be discriminated based on race, color, religion, disability, sex, familial status or national origin.