Owning a home has long been the American Dream. Despite this fact, the average working-class family will never be able to realize this dream due to their economic situation. You may know nurses, teachers, secretaries, retail workers, janitors, mechanics, etc., who work hard to provide for their families and take care of their financial responsibilities. These families have a difficult time saving for a large down payment, or are unable to afford a mortgage payment that is higher than their current rent. To address this problem, the Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust (RMCLT) partners with qualified, low-income families in homeownership. By making an investment in the properties with the families, we help make the American Dream of owning a home a reality.
We focus on home-ownership because having a stable home is central to healthy families and a robust community. Studies by NeighborWorks America show that children of homeowners are more likely to attend school after the age of 17, have higher test scores, and have fewer behavioral problems than children of non-homeowners. Adults in homeownership are less likely to have alcohol and substance abuse problems, retain jobs longer, and stay in one place longer than non-homeowners, creating stable neighborhoods and communities. Homeowners also take more pride in their communities, taking care of their homes, joining neighborhood groups, volunteering, attending public meetings, and even voting more than renters.