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Home Creates Legacy for Mother and Son

The opportunity to own her home sounded “too good to be true”

I was thinking, this has to be too good to be true.

– Vanessa 

IN 2014, VANESSA WAS SHOPPING FOR A HOME in Mount Vernon. The homes she could afford needed work and the neighbors were not friendly. They were in neighborhoods that felt unsafe. She wanted something better for her son. One of her friends had found a home through a non-profit organization, but that program required hundreds of hours of sweat equity (volunteer hours to build the home). With a young child and a busy schedule, Scee could not devote the time that the program required. Home Trust of Skagit’s model was what she needed.

She learned about the community land trust program by stumbling onto an online advertisement. At first, Scee said she wondered if the program was a hoax.


“I was thinking, this has to be too good to be true,” she said.

But it was true. Through Home Trust, Vanessa received down payment assistance and support to buy her home. In February 2015, she and her son moved into their two-story, 1,700 square-foot community land trust home in the Skagit Highlands, a neighborhood on the east side of town. Her neighbors made them feel welcome, and Benny can now Trick or Treat safely in a neighborhood with hundreds of other kids.


“Maybe I don’t own the land, but it feels like it’s mine,” she says.

She’s reassured by the fact that should something happen to her, she can leave the home to her son and her ground lease will be transferred to him.

Home Trust of Skagit, a community land trust and 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, is incorporated to help homebuyers in Skagit County secure affordable homes and achieve an equity return on their investment, while preserving affordability for the next homebuyer. Home Trust of Skagit began as a program of Community Action of Skagit County in 2009.


  • Homes in Portfolio: 10 owner occupied; 19 rentals

  • Families Served Through Sales and Resales: 20

  • Acres of Land Stewarded: 8

  • Founded: 2010

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