Rondo Community Land Trust (CLT) is a community-based affordable housing land trust operating in St. Paul and Suburban Ramsey County. Rondo CLT is named after Rondo Avenue, a main commercial corridor that was renamed Concordia Avenue during the construction of Interstate 94. The construction dislocated many long-term residents and fractured the predominantly African American Rondo neighborhood. In 1989 a resident task force initiated by the Summit-University Planning Council explored successful methods of preserving housing affordability. The task force recommended the land trust model as a way to keep housing affordable 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 non-profit organization to serve these communities. After nearly ten years of success in the Summit-University and Lexington-Hamline neighborhoods, Rondo CLT expanded the land trust’s service area to include all of St. Paul and later to include Suburban Ramsey County.
Rondo CLT Mission
The mission of Rondo CLT is to strengthen and preserve communities by providing and advocating for permanently affordable, sustainable housing for families and individuals with low to moderate incomes; to promote the utilization of the land trust model as a method of preserving affordable housing and economic growth and neighborhood stabilization; and support and celebrate cultural diversity by providing affordable business opportunities to increase community economic wealth, property values and jobs.
Rondo CLT Vision
For twenty-five years Rondo CLT has successfully developed affordable housing for modest-income households in St. Paul, Minnesota. As part of its vision, Rondo CLT has remained dedicated to addressing priorities as set by the community and exploring innovative development methods. The current economic environment coupled with a holistic approach towards neighborhood stabilization has led Rondo CLT to develop new projects that emphasize flexibility and collaboration. These projects range from economic development to neighborhood beautification, but woven throughout each initiative is Rondo’s commitment to improving the quality of life of community members for which the organization serves.
Through the land trust model of homeownership, Rondo CLT strives to serve families and individuals who have historically been excluded from home ownership. Based on the success of the land trust model in homeownership, Rondo CLT is currently developing a land trust model for affordable commercial and senior rental housing. The project was conceptualized as an anti-gentrification measure for local area businesses in an effort to retain and stabilize small businesses on the Selby Avenue Commercial Corridor.