- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A community land trust set up in Minot is selling the first of 30 planned homes, with preference being given to buyers who lost homes in the 2011 Souris River flood.

A community land trust enables people to buy homes at a more affordable price and build equity in them. Prices can be kept lower because the nonprofit trust retains the land. The concept was being explored before the flood and is now part of the recovery.

“Once the flood came, as we all know, the need (for housing) increased substantially,” Minot Area Community Land Trust Executive Director Carrie Welnel told KXMC-TV.

The historic flooding three years ago caused by heavy spring snowmelt and rain damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 homes and other structures in the city, causing nearly $700 million in damage.

The city is using a $2 million state grant to buy lots as they become available in formerly flooded areas and deed them to the land trust. The first home - a 1,160-square-foot, two-bedroom home with a two-car garage - went on the market this week for $143,000. Ten homes are planned in each of the next three years.

Plum Valley Developers, another nonprofit community land trust in Minot, is awaiting a state attorney general opinion on whether it can use a $1.5 million state grant, according to the Minot Daily News. The group is working with the Minot Housing Authority, which would obtain the grant for use by the land trust to provide rental housing.

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