Northside Landbank

Thanks to the leadership of Northside neighbors and the collaboration and support of several partners, the community landbank has purchased its first five homes, with plans for all five that will help serve families and promote affordability.   Repair work has been completed on the first of the homes and will soon be in process for the rest.

The landbank was made possible with a $3 million zero interest loan from UNC Chapel Hill to local non-profit Self-Help, with administrative support from the Town of Chapel Hill.  Self-Help is able, with the Jackson Center and neighborhood leadership guidance, to purchase homes in transition and to hold them as strategies are created by neighbors and partner organizations.  These homes are then redeveloped and sold to affordable housing agencies or families.

What is a landbank and how is this one structured?
In short, we use the phrase “landbank” to mean a method for property to be bought, assembled, and converted to serve a community purpose.  Self-Help formed the Northside landbank to try and gain control of key properties that can help support neighborhood goals.  Self-Help hopes to acquire properties from owners looking to sell, and plans to make these properties available for purchase by homeowners, non-profit housing providers, and other developers responsive to neighborhood interests.

How does this benefit families who need to sell?
In the last decade, most homes transitioning in Northside have been bought quickly by investors with cash to repurpose for student rentals.  The landbank provides an alternative to this.  Property owners who need or want to sell can consider selling just as quickly and for fair market value into the landbank.  The landbank then is able to hold properties, repair them, involve neighbors in decisions about what happens to them, and provide opportunities for affordable housing agencies and families to purchase them who otherwise would not be able to act as quickly as investors.

How would I purchase a property from the landbank?
If you are an individual buyer or represent an organization, and would like to inquire about property availability, please fill out the contact form here or be in touch with the Jackson Center so they can add you to the contact list for when homes become available.

How does this benefit future affordability?
In several ways.  The landbank is able to buy and hold properties as affordable housing agencies line up funding and create plans for properties.  It is a tool that promotes partnership with all different models of housing, allowing a number of partners to collaborate to create new models to make quality affordable rental and homeownership options.  Already, several properties will become permanent affordable housing options as a direct result of the landbank.

How does this help existing neighbors?
It helps enable community self-determination and inclusivity because neighbors are a part of creating the solutions.   Additionally, a landbank can make the neighborhood more stable and balanced.  It is one of many tools (see information in our post about our new home repair pilot program) in the overall strategy in order to preserve the future of Northside as a community that serves homeowners and renters from a wide variety of backgrounds with an emphasis on people who work in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Interested in learning more?  Contact the Jackson Center.