Rondo Community Land Trust (CLT) is a community-based affordable housing land trust working to create and preserve homeownership for low to moderate-income households in Ramsey County, Minnesota.
To strengthen communities by providing permanently affordable, sustainable housing for families and individuals at or below 80% of the area median income; and, to promote the land trust model as a method of preserving affordable housing.
To provide high quality permanently affordable housing for low and moderate-income, multi-generational households by exploring various development methods, remaining flexible in our revitalization approaches, and working within priorities set by the community. Rondo CLT creatively meets housing needs while preserving the economic and cultural diversity of our community.
Rondo CLT is named after Rondo Avenue, a main commerce avenue for the African American community that was renamed Concordia Avenue during the construction of Interstate 94 in the late 1960s. Cutting through the old Rondo neighborhood, the construction dislocated many long-term residents. Based on the need for affordable housing in the area, in 1989 a resident task force initiated by the Summit-University Planning Council began exploring successful methods of preserving affordable housing that had been used around the country. The task force recommended the community land trust model as the most proven method of preserving affordable housing for future generations. Both the Summit-University and Lexington-Hamline Community Councils voted to endorse the creation of the first neighborhood-based community land trust in St. Paul. In 1993 Rondo CLT was incorporated as a publicly supported, tax-exempt organization to serve the neighborhoods of Summit-University and Lexington-Hamline. Recognizing the rising need for permanently affordable housing across the city, Rondo CLT’s Membership voted to expand Rondo CLT’s service area to include all of St. Paul in September 2002. Later, the membership voted to expand its service area to Suburban Ramsey County.
A community land trust achieves permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for low to moderate-income households by separating the ownership of the house and the land. In the United States, there are over 200 communities currently operating or forming community land trusts in order to provide affordable homeownership to households in their area.
How Rondo CLT Keeps Homeownership Affordable
A community land trust achieves permanent, long-term housing affordability through the use of a ground lease. CLT homebuyers purchase only the house, and enter into a 99-year Ground Lease with Rondo CLT for the exclusive use of the land.
Rondo CLT’s Ground Lease states that when a CLT homeowner decides to sell their home, the house is sold to another low to moderate-income household for the original purchase price plus 25% of any appreciation in the home’s value.
By limiting market appreciation, permanent affordability is ensured and initial subsidies invested in making the home affordable are spread across generations of low to moderate-income homebuyers.
Most importantly, this affordable housing option gives households that could otherwise only afford to rent the opportunity to take advantage of all of the benefits of homeownership -- stability, security, tax benefits, and the opportunity to earn equity and appreciation in real estate that is not available through renting.
Greg Finzell, Executive Director
Greg has been the Executive Director of the Rondo CLT since it was formed in 1993. Previously he was the Director of the Summit-University Planning Council in St. Paul. He served in that capacity from 1985 to 1992. Greg served as the Director of the Hawthorne Area Community Council in Minneapolis from 1980 to 1984. A resident of the Lexington-Hamline neighborhood, Greg enjoys woodworking.
Diana Dyste, Project Manager
Diana Dyste has been the Project Manager since December 2012. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Anthropology and Women’s Studies, and is currently working towards her Masters of Architecture: Heritage Conservation and Preservation from the University of Minnesota. Her academic interests include cultural heritage, economic development, and urban planning. In addition to her work with Rondo CLT, Diana also volunteers for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and the Selby Avenue Action Coalition. When she is not working, Diana enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with family, friends and her prized canine companion.
Board of Directors
At all times Rondo Community Land Trust's Board of Directors is comprised of one-third CLT homeowners, one-third members (must be residents of Saint Paul), and one-third open seats. The Board of Directors is elected to two-year terms by the members of Rondo CLT.
Deborah J. Young
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Mortgage Loan Originator
U.S. Bank Home Mortgage
Affordable Housing Specialist
Real Estate Agent
Become a member of the Rondo Community Land Trust! Membership is open to residents of Ramsey County who are over the age of 18 and who want to make ownership of quality, permanently affordable homes possible for our whole community.
If you're interested in joining Rondo CLT as a member, please let us know.
Rondo CLT is indebted to generous support from the community! Rondo CLT's success would not be possible without individuals, families, and partner organizations.
In 2012, the following provided organizational and program funding support for Rondo CLT's work:
City of Saint Paul
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Saint Paul Foundation
Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Houses of Hope Fund
Foundations & Corporations
Hugh J. Andersen Foundation
F.R. Bigelow Foundation
Otto Bremer Foundation
Family Housing Fund