Sunday, June 23, 2024

Common Ground Community Housing Trust Receives 501(c)3 Status


Common Ground Community Housing Trust, a local organization devoted to developing permanently affordable housing for working families, recently received its determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service of its nonprofit 501(c)3 status, according to Board President Thom Nees.

Common Ground was founded by Serve Wenatchee Valley, a nonprofit assisting families and individuals who are at risk of losing their housing. Common Ground serves the greater Wenatchee area within the Wenatchee and Eastmont School District boundaries.

The business model of the Community Housing Trust centers around developing individually owned homes on community owned land. This approach creates permanently affordable housing for working families due to the fact that the value of the home is separate from the value of the land.

Similar housing trusts have been successful in other NCW communities, including Leavenworth, the Methow Valley and most recently Chelan.

In recent months, Common Ground held a community meeting at the Mercantile in downtown Wenatchee to celebrate the organization’s progress and discuss next steps. The organization recently received $60,000 in financial support from Chelan County over a three-year period, $7,500 from Banner Bank, and was awarded a $6,000 Regional Impact Grant from the Community Foundation of NCW. Nees also announced the addition of Board Member Mina Gomez, of Edward Jones Financial. Common Ground has also hired Laurie Shorett to serve as its Administrative Assistant.

Common Ground has formed a series of advisory groups that are working to guide the development of processes, procedures, and best practices for the work. These groups include:

• Organizational Structure & Sustainability

• Financial Policies, Budgets, Land Acquisition & Fund Raising

• Homebuyer Selection, Eligibility Criteria & Stewardship

• Housing Development and Design Priorities, Policies & Standards

• Resale Formulas, Master Ground Lease & Fees

• Communication, Marketing & Outreach

Looking ahead, Common Ground is working hard to identify land for its first development. Also, they’re looking for additional individuals to help develop policies and procedures for the housing trust.

What Can You Do?

Volunteer - Do you have specific experience and perspective that would help deliver affordable homes to families in our community? Do you have a background in financial management, fundraising, property development, construction, organizational management, influencing, strategic planning? We need your expertise to advance our cause.

Donate - Do you have financial resources to contribute? Real estate you would like to make available? Looking for ways to divest assets to benefit our community?

To be a part of the Common Ground solution by giving your time, talent, and/or treasure, visit the website at or contact Thom Nees at or by calling 509-630-4438.



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