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Say HELL NO to the: “Proposed Community Land Trust”

By: Robert Johnson

There’s something wrong with our political process where all of our African-American politicians are controlled by two factions:  The White Liberals and the so called Main Stream media.  The other day I heard someone ask, “How do you get to be a Director of a City Department with no experience?”  The answer was simple, you have to be White and you have to have two or three sponsors willing to write “Big Checks”.  Yes, I said it. City Hall is for Sale.  This week I witnessed one of our City of Houston Directors say three incredible things to Black people at a Historically Black University:  The White Inexperienced Director said:  1) He is working on creating a Community Land Trust –ie. Taking land from traditional African-American neighborhoods; 2) He is building a prototype housing – shipping containers for poor people (Yes you, Negro); and 3) He drives by the homeless under the freeways and the problem “is challenging” so he has not address this problem. (No quack-quack kidding).

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the City of Houston’s Community Development Director, Tom McCasland, spoke at the Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Administration at Texas Southern University.  Here’s a guy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a lot of questions swirling about him because of the unusual way he obtained his government positions. You may want to know he ran unsuccessfully for an At-Large City Council Position and is now leading an effort to take land from seniors, the disabled, the poor and people of color in Acres Home, Sunnyside, Fifth-Ward and Third-Ward through the development of something called a Community Land Trust.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the young educated fool dressed in a suit tell the Negros why all of his predecessors were wrong in building affordable housing and developing communities. He stated, he was a data driven bureaucrat in a good way, working to change the paradigm with the Ford Foundation, Rice and Harvard to develop “Complete Communities”.  He hit all the right buttons paying faux homage to professors, non-profits, politicians and community development corporations. He even offered an RFP of $3 Million Dollars for CDC’s and CHDO’s to apply within the next 3 months.  I have seen this move before in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It was devastating in the 1970s and most of us remember the complete destruction of the Black middle class.

Let me get down to business and take on the first crazy idea presented at Texas Southern University last week, The Community Land Trust.  I will address the other ones at a later date.  If you hear on the street that we can develop more housing using a Community Land Trust, remember this:  Yes it’s true.  If, that is, you want a shadow government taking land from African Americans by White Boys connected to the Main Stream Media who give $500 to preachers to take all the land in the neighborhood and run a political style campaign to make Negros happy just to be in the room.

These are a few disadvantages of a community land trust The Community Land Trust model has several disadvantages that are detailed below.

1.    Cultural Perception: It is not Texan, at all. In a property rights state and a City without zoning, having a regime take control of land is crazy and un-American.
Taking land from African-Americans is nothing new.  (Here they come again.)  No other community – race – creed would listen to someone suggest to take your land and you will be better off as a people.  Hell, Ask the Indians.

2.    Limitation on Wealth Creation: A corollary to the first disadvantage is the limit on equity participation and wealth creation.  African-Americans have most of their net assets in Homes, PERIOD!  African-Americans live primarily in communities with a diverse group of professions and incomes.  Systemic Racism and 2010’s Jim Crowism are the leading cause of a segregated Houston.

3.     Elimination of “Competition” with Non-Profit Housing Providers:  The Community Land Trust will change the manner in which non-profit housing providers participate in publicly funded housing activities, and, as such, will compete with the scarce public resources that are available to non-profit housing providers.  For example, the City of Houston provides forgivable loans to Habitat for Humanity to purchase land to develop homeownership opportunities for households at or below 50% MFI. The City of Houston also provides deferred payment, homebuyer assistance loans to homebuyers who purchase CHDO-developed housing.  If a Community Land Trust is adopted, the City will re-evaluate these types of loan products to non-profit housing developers, because the assumption is that the Community Land Trust offers a model for permanent affordable housing development.  Moreover, the Community Land Trust would be created by the government and who do you think would get first dibs on these limited resources?  This would be end of local control of our CDC’s and Non-Profits as we know them.

4.     Kills Market Competition: Several volume builders offer housing that is priced affordably for low-to-moderate income home buyers.  A Community Land Trust is successful by offering a competitive product in a desirable location for a price that is more affordable than similar market-rate products. The Community Land Trust model guarantees affordability for the next homeowner, but there is a much better and equitable way.   It’s called – Inclusionary Housing.   We will discuss this one later.

5.    Generally, Community Land Trusts are designed to Avoid Property Taxes: The concern of higher-income neighborhoods forming a nonprofit is real.  (Consider the Galleria with its TIRZ)  Originally designed for transitional neighborhoods, simply watch this process get used by the rich and well connected.   As far as I can tell, all of the Community Development decision makers are all White Boys.  I will go through each one of them completely over the next 12 months.  The question is, who is behind the curtain to take certain Black communities, close our schools and remove opportunities from our communities?  Follow the money and the key positions being held.

6.   The Fix is In:   Many of you Negros will fail to see who is in charge and why?  How did they get to where they are and how do they stand to benefit?  Non-Profits and the Greater Houston Builders Association should be Marching in the Streets. But, No More Marching… instead, Write Checks – to Politicians who will stop hiring Non-Experienced White Boys to destroy what’s left of the African-American experience.

7: Get Ready: For the Full-Blown Shiny New Thing:  A first class social media campaign and large paper campaigns, designed to fill empty minds with reasons why you should trust a person with zero community development experience with communities over a hundred and fifty years old, is already underway.

I am old enough to have studied Plessy v. Ferguson that enshrined Separate but Equal into law.  The Community Land Trust is even worse as it takes your land allows you to share crop for 99 years as a new millennial slave.  This time they are asking you to follow a Young Inexperienced White Boy given the job over qualified African-Americans to study you, your community and take your land.  Does this make sense? Place your x on the spot to give your land away as the Native Americans did 300+ years ago and see how this works for your descendants.  We will keep watching those who are working to take your land.