Capacity Building Institute

What is the Capacity Building Institute (CBI)?

The CBI was the first of its kind, in the country, comprehensive training program for new community land trust staff. Most participants were involved in start-up CLTs but a few attendees were new staff of more established CLTs. The curriculum was designed to mimic the process that a community might take to establish a CLT. The syllabus of the institute included discussion and information regarding major decision points that organizations and communities need to grapple with when embarking on the process to create, develop and plan for the stewardship of permanently affordable homeownership opportunities.

Read more about the CBI in KulshanCLT's newsletter here (page 3).


The purpose of the Capacity Building Institute was to, through training, technical assistance anddirect pass-through support, build the capacity of small and emerging CLTs to increase the number of permanently affordable homes in trust in Washington State and throughout the region and to better ensure the long-term sustainability of these organizations.

The Institute consisted of five two-day sessions, one three-day and a one-day follow-up session. Eligible and qualified CLTs also benefited from limited cash operating support upon their organization’s completion of specific milestones structured to create a strong foundation for the organization to provide adequate stewardship for the units they produce.

The institute’s curriculum included fundamentals of the CLT strategy, program design considerations and in-depth work around key parts of the strategy including ground leases and resale formulas. The Institute also addressed issues of organizational sustainability, housing development, accounting and bookkeeping for CLTs, and other topics of interest to the participants.

Topics Covered 

May 1-2, 2008 – Bainbridge (IslandWood)
Introductions (Programs, Participants, Trainers) 
CLT 101 – Organizational Considerations, Financial Structures, etc.) 
Foundations of a Successful Organization including Board Basics and Strategic Planning

June 12-13, 2008 – Leavenworth (Grunewald Guild)
Organizational and Community Priorities
Program Design Considerations 
Resident Application Process 
Program policies and Home Building/Acquisition Procedures
Elements of the Ground Lease 

Sept 25-26, 2008 – Leavenworth (Grunewald Guild)
Program Design Challenges 
Resale Formula Design Considerations, Issues and Options
Financing Mortgages and Homebuyers 

Nov 13-14, 2008 – Bainbridge (IslandWood)
Real Estate Development 
Branding and Strategic Communications Planning

Jan 7-9 – Bainbridge, 2009 (IslandWood)
Developing strong boards 
Fund Raising 
Membership Recruitment and Involvement 

Feb 26-27, 2009 – Bainbridge (IslandWood)
The 99-year Challenge – maintaining homes, supporting homeowners, and sustaining your organization over the long-haul
Evaluations, feedback and next steps Participants and Trainers

Oct 21, 2009 – Padilla Bay
The group met again to reconnect, share successes and obstacles. Participants and Trainers

Organizational Participants

  • ARCH Community Housing, Wood River Valley, ID (Sun Valley area)
  • Columbia Valley Housing Association/PATH; Wenatchee, WA Area
  • Yakima Valley CLT (Elmview was fiscal sponsor formerly); Yakima, WA Area
  • Homestead Community Land Trust; Seattle, WA Area
  • Homeward Bound Community Land Trust; Jefferson and Clallam Cos., WA
  • Housing Resources Board; Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Kulshan Community Land Trust; Whatcom County, WA
  • Lake Chelan CLT; Lake Chelan, WA Area
  • Mason Thurston CLT; Shelton, WA Area
  • Neah Casa; Northern Oregon Coast (Manzanita/Nehalem area)
  • OPAL Community Land Trust; Orcas Island, WA
  • Proud Ground; Portland, OR
  • San Juan Community Home Trust; San Juan Island, WA
  • Saratoga Community Housing; Island County, WA
  • SHARE Community Land Trust; Leavenworth, WA Area
  • Skagit County Community Action Agency; Skagit County, WA
  • South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust; Thurston County, WA
  • Southwest Washington CLT, Vancouver, WA

Participating Trainers 

  • Michael Brown, Burlington Associates
  • Julie Brunner, Common Ground
  • Peter Fraizer, UI Architects
  • Allison Handler, Decisions Decisions
  • Melora Hiller, Consultant
  • Rick Jacobus, Burlington Associates
  • Michael Kelly, Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance
  • Dan Landes, Common Ground
  • Erika Malone, NW CLT Coalition
  • Allen Matsumoto, UT Architects
  • Gabriel Olmsted, Heron River Group
  • Laura Pierce, Consultant
  • Valerie Reuther, Consultant