The Montford & Stumptown Fund of the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust (ABCLT): Investing in Black Homeownership
Through resident-led efforts, the Montford & Stumptown Fund has been established with the Asheville-Buncombe Community Land Trust (ABCLT) with the goal to protect and create permanently affordable housing for Black families in Montford and Stumptown/Hill Street (census tracts 2 and 3). This fund is designed to help repair the damage caused by centuries of racial inequities in real estate.
Current disparities in wealth and homeownership are the effects of historical policies and contemporary practices that have supported white families in building equity, accumulating wealth, and passing that money on at the expense of Black families. Nationwide, the G.I. Bill which enabled white veterans to purchase homes denied the same financial support to Black service members. In Asheville, redlining artificially devalued Black neighborhoods, like Southside, while banks provided financial support to white buyers looking to purchase homes in areas, like Montford, coded for investment and appreciation. We saw the destruction of historically Black Stumptown make way for infrastructure projects like the Montford Recreation Complex.
Today, exponentially rising home prices mean that homeownership is largely only accessible to people who already own a home. If these patterns do not change, Montford will continue to lose diversity. This is not a new concern. “Working to preserve Montford’s diversity in race and income” was a goal named in the Montford Neighborhood Association’s 2016 Neighborhood Plan.
If you’ve found yourself wondering about how we find ourselves with such a severe and consequential racial wealth gap–today Black families in the U.S. have about 5% of the wealth of white families–consider this next fact – the wealth and financial security of most middle class families is almost exclusively tied to the equity that grows through owning a home. While homeownership alone is not a solution to the racial wealth gap, it is one strategy of a comprehensive response.
While what we can do through the Montford & Stumptown Fund is not proportional to what has been lost by the Black community in Asheville or in this neighborhood a specifically, this is an opportunity to invest in a venture that will heal and restore.
This is an invitation for Montford residents to acknowledge the past and actively work for a more just future. The fund launched on June 8, 2021 is now accepting donations.
Consider donations of all types and sizes:
- Donations of a portion of the equity you’ve built as property values have increased
- Donations of a percent of profits from the sale of a home
- Donations of a percent of real estate commissions
- Donations of a percent of AirBnB/vacation rental fees
- Donations of a percent of B&B rental fees
- Donations of a percent of long term rental fees
- Donations of a percent of business sales
- Donations of a percent of neighborhood tours
- Donations of real estate
- Spreading the word about the fund to your neighbors
What can you give?
Funds will go towards the purchase of land and homes (either existing or new construction). Each family will own their home outright and lease the land from the ABCLT (which will remain “in trust” for the benefit of the community). There will be a resale formula for shared equity based on the increased value of the home at the time of sale. Funds raised can also be used to help protect ongoing homeownership of legacy Black neighbors through property tax assistance and home repair.
To make a donation online, go to abclt.org/donate (make a gift over $25 for the option to designate to the Montford & Stumptown Fund soon), or mail a check to ABCLT, 825 Merrimon Ave. Ste C, PMB #141, Asheville, NC 28804, with “Montford & Stumptown Fund” in the note section. ABCLT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible.