As an ECLT applicant, you will have 60 days to complete and submit your application online. If after that time you haven't finished and submitted it, you will be automatically withdrawn from our system; the application fee is not refundable. You are welcome to reapply if you wish, but you will be required to pay an additional $25 application fee as this is considered a new application.
Once you start the application process, you will need several documents available to upload as attachments to your application. Here is a summary of the documents you should gather for your application. If you are applying with a co-applicant, each applicant will need to submit financial information.
- Pay Stubs - Submit the most recent two months of pay stubs for any employment. Depending on how often you get paid, this may be two to eight statements.
- Federal Tax Returns - If you are a W-2 employee, submit the most recent 2 years of tax returns. If you are self-employed, submit the most recent 3 years tax returns. *Starting May 1, 2021, you will need to include 2020 tax returns as your most recent year.
- W2s, 1099s, etc - In addition to your signed Federal tax returns you will need to separately upload copies of all W2s, 1099s, etc. for the corresponding years of your tax returns.
- Verification of Employment (VOE) - Click here for a VOE form to provide to your employer. Alternatively, the employer may provide a letter on company letterhead, including: Annual gross pay, start date of employment, pay schedule, expected pay increases and any overtime, bonuses, tips or commissions. This form can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org once you apply. For self-employed individuals, submitted documentation must include: a) Statement of YTD Income for Self-employment and b) Statement of Anticipated Income for Self-Employment. *If your employer requires we log into an online system to verify your employment, please include all the necessary information on the VOE form and submit this as your required document.
- Checking Account Statements (6 most recent months) - Submit the most recent 6 months of checking account statements. *If you have just recently opened a checking account and do not have 6 months of statements, submit all statements beginning with the opening statement.
- Savings Account Statement (most recent statement) - Submit the most recent statement for any savings account. *You will need to show a minimum of $3,000 available in savings, that is not used to pay monthly bills.
- Digital Banking Account Statement - If you use PayPal, you will need to provide six months worth of digital statements. Please go to the paypal website (or use this guide) to figure out how to obtain your statements. For Venmo, you will need to provide the transaction balance sheet (see guide).
- Deposit Detail Form - Click here for the deposit detail form. You will need to provide a brief explanation for all deposits over $50 in any account statement submitted that is not a direct deposit from an employer.
- Investment Statements - Submit the most recent statement for any IRA, 401k, life insurance policy (cash value) or other investment statement.
- Additional Income Source Verification - Submit verification and most recent statement of all other sources of income (social security, disability, pension, etc.)
- Divorce Decree and/or Child Support/Alimony Agreement - If you are divorced and/or have a separation agreement, child support or alimony agreement, you will need to submit a copy of these documents.
- ECLT Orientation Certificate of Completion - Prior to submitting your application, you will need to attend a full ECLT Orientation (90 minutes, free & online). Submit the ECLT Orientation Certificate of Completion. *If you attend all 90 minutes of the orientation, you will receive a certificate of completion by the end of the business day following the orientation. Click here to register.
- CHFA Homebuyer Education Course Certificate of Completion - Prior to submitting your application, you will need to complete a CHFA Homebuyer Education Course (approx. 4-6 hours). Submit the CHFA Homebuyer Education Course Certificate of Completion. *A CHFA housing counselor will contact you within a week of completing this online course prior to providing your certificate of completion. Click here to register for a course.
- Payment of $25 Application Fee - This fee is non-refundable and due at the time of application. Pay the fee with a credit card via Stripe on the online application.
About CLT FAQs
- What is a CLT? Community land trusts (CLTs) are community-based nonprofit organizations—governed by a representative board of CLT and community residents, funders and public representatives—that acquire land within a specific geographic area and use it to provide permanently affordable homeownership opportunities and lasting community assets for families and communities. By creating homes that remain permanently affordable, CLTs provide successful homeownership opportunities for generations of lower income families and maintain mixed-income neighborhoods by developing and preserving a stable inventory of affordable housing outside the market.
- How do CLTs work? In the CLT model, the nonprofit builds or acquires homes, and sells the homes to income-qualified individuals. The CLT retains ownership of the land that the house sits on, leasing the land to the homeowner for a designated period of time, typically 99 years. Separating the house from the land has two important benefits: it ensures that the land remains affordable by keeping it in the community’s possession; and it helps makes homeownership more affordable for low-income individuals, allowing them to more easily buy homes and build wealth through equity and shared market appreciation.
- What is permanently affordable housing? Affordable housing built with public dollars usually comes with an expiration date, meaning that the affordability benefit the public investment provided can be lost after fifteen to thirty years, and residents may be displaced. One of the greatest benefits of community land trusts is the preservation of affordable homeownership for generations. Through a one-time public investment to lower the purchase price and the agreement the homebuyer makes to sell to sell at an affordable price, CLTs create a portfolio of homes that can be purchased by future low-income families, even when the prices of surrounding homes rise substantially higher.
- What are the benefits of CLT homeownership? CLTs benefit families and communities in the following ways:
- CLTs help prevent displacement: By retaining ownership of the land underlying the homes, CLTs provide homes that remain affordable regardless of changes in the surrounding neighborhood. These homes offer a buffer from rising land prices during hot real estate markets, protecting residents during down markets, and preserving the mixed-income demographics of neighborhoods at risk of gentrifying.
- CLTs help increase family financial security by providing housing stability and wealth-building opportunities: Families that spend excessive amounts of their incomes on housing have insufficient resources for other essential needs, such as food and health care. By stabilizing housing costs, CLTs help residents build wealth and save for the future.
- CLTs support successful homeownership and economic mobility: CLTs help low-income families bridge the gap between rental housing and market homeownership. In addition, they increase the economic mobility of families by allowing them to share in the financial benefits of owning a home with a lower risk of foreclosure and provide a springboard for entering the conventional housing market.
- CLTs create stable and strong neighborhoods: CLTs contribute to fewer foreclosures, better upkeep of properties and stable occupancy. CLTs increase civic engagement by organizing residents to develop and implement a collective vision for community land.
- CLTs offer a flexible model: CLTs abandon the one-size-fits-all approach to affordable homeownership development by mixing land uses and types of housing across various communities and projects. This helps to maintain affordable housing in targeted areas, such as near public transit sites, while integrating mixed-use structures that could include commercial space and supportive services for low-income families.
- Do I need to be a first time homebuyer? No, Elevation does not require that you are a first time homebuyer, but if you currently own a home you will be required to close on the sale of your current home before purchasing an Elevation CLT home. ECLT will calculate the equity in your current home and this will count as an asset.
- How do I know if I may qualify? Start by checking our our Income & Asset Summary Sheets to see if you may qualify.
- I recently changed jobs or had a change in my pay – how will you calculate my income? We use your current income (verified by the last month of pay stubs and your Verification of Employment) to calculate your projected annual income going forward.
- I have a temporary change in my income due to COVID-19. We understand many people have had temporary changes to their income during COVID. We will collect all the standard required documents and may request an additional explanation of your temporary change in income if it is due to COVID and can be documented.
- What if my income increases after I qualify and buy my home? Great! Elevation wants our homeowners to have economic mobility and we hope you get a raise! Once you own your home, you never need to income qualify again.
- I am recently divorced and my ex-spouse’s income is on my tax returns. We understand life happens and may require additional documentation to explain your individual situation.
Application Process FAQs
- I am having trouble accessing my application. Please use this link to access your application: https://authentication.elevationclt.org/
- I don’t have the documents that are being requested in my document correction requests. In some cases, you may not have the documents that are being requested to complete your application. In this case, please create a Word document and provide an explanation of why these documents do not exist, then submit this Word document as your required document. You may be requested to sign an affidavit on your statement, in order for us to have documentation for your file and compliance under our program requirement.
- How long does it take for my application to be reviewed? We have a team of application reviewers that will be in touch with you via email within 10 business days of your application being submitted. Applications are reviewed in the order received and review time depends on how complete your application is at the time of submittal (ie: make sure all your tax forms are complete, W2s uploaded, bank statements are the most recent months, etc.). If your application is incomplete or requires explanation, a reviewer will email you for Document Corrections. Once you have submitted a complete application, it takes up to 3 weeks for the review to be complete. Your reviewer will email you with your application review status. *Please note, this timeline does not start until your submission is complete and your application is not considered “submitted” until your application is complete.
- What is the next step after my application has been reviewed? When your application review is complete you will receive an email with your application status. If you receive a Letter of Conditional Program Approval this means that you qualify for our program, and the next step is to contact a Participating Lender and tell them you are approved through Elevation CLT. ECLT staff will work with your lender to determine if you meet our Debt to Income (DTI) program ratios (see Lender & Realtor FAQs) and if you qualify for a conventional 30-yr, fixed rate mortgage. ECLT staff and your lender will work with you to determine your eligibility and a maximum loan amount. Upon receipt of a loan pre-qualification, please notify Elevation CLT at email@example.com with subject line “Loan App and PreQual”. Elevation will email you a secure link to upload the loan application and the pre-qualification letter.
- How do I become a Fully Qualified ECLT Applicant? If your lender and ECLT Staff determine you qualify for a conventional mortgage and meet our program debt to income (DTI) ratios, we will then contact you with a letter that says “Congratulations!” as you are now a fully qualified ECLT applicant and eligible to purchase an ECLT home!
- How long does it take from application to move-in? While this answer varies depending on the individual applicant experience, applicants should plan on a MINIMUM of a 3 month timeframe from submitting an application to moving into an ECLT home. This is not a guaranteed timeframe and many variables are subject to change, but this is the absolute fastest potential timeframe for a new applicant looking to live in an ECLT home.
Lending & Realtor FAQs
- What if I am pre-qualified with a lender that is not on your Participating Lender list? We require that all applicants get qualified for a conventional mortgage with a participating lender, as these lenders have had their legal departments review and approve our CLT documents and have trained their staff on our program.
- Can I get an FHA or VA loan? Unfortunately CLTs are not currently able to work with FHA loans. Several of our participating lenders do VA loans but it has proven to be very difficult to get them approved by the VA, so we cannot guarantee this will work. However, two of our lenders have 100% financing mortgage loan products and CLT home mortgage loans do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI) – very similar to VA terms. The maximum loan amount in this instance would be the purchase price less the minimum earnest money deposit of $1,000. Applicants may choose to apply a larger down payment.
- What are the maximum loan ratios for ECLT’s program? The maximum front-end ratio is 33% and the maximum back-end ratio is 43%. In some cases, applicants may be eligible for a front end waiver up to 35%.
- Can I have a co-signor on the loan that will not live in the home? ECLT allows applicants to have a co-signor on the loan that will not live in the home, so long as the co-signor is not on the deed of trust to the home.
- I am a realtor with a client that wants to write an offer on one of your homes. Great! If you are not already familiar with our program, we encourage realtors to take our free, online 90-minute ECLT orientation with their clients. You may not write an offer on behalf of your client for an ECLT property until they are a fully qualified ECLT applicant with a Letter of Qualification from ECLT. The more you know about our program the better equipped you will be to help your client achieve homeownership with our program!
Buying A Home & Homeowner FAQs
- I see a home I love on your website – will it still be available when I’m qualified? Unfortunately there is no way for us to guarantee any home in our current pipeline will still be available when you are fully qualified. We use a first come first serve waitlist so the sooner you are fully qualified, the sooner you will move up the waitlist and have the first chance to write a contract on a home you love! Having said that we currently have available homes now that qualified applicants can write a contract on and more coming along all the time. In 2021 we are planning to acquire more than an additional 100 homes including single family homes, townhomes, and new construction condos.
- How many people are on the waitlist? Of course this fluctuates and is subject to change, but we have consistently had about 12-15 people on our waitlist that are waiting for their dream home! They tend to move through the list and become a homeowner pretty quickly so newly qualified ECLT applicants should expect to have the opportunity to choose from a variety of homes as they move up in our waitlist.
- What is included in my monthly housing payment? Your monthly housing payment will include your home mortgage principal & interest, taxes & insurance, your $100/month CLT fee and any HOA fees that may apply to your home.
- Where do I pay my monthly CLT Fee? Every homeowner pays a monthly CLT fee ($100) directly to Elevation CLT. The best way is to sign up through us for ACH automated withdrawal by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “ACH sign up”or to mail us a check at: Elevation Community Land Trust / 1114 W. 7th Ave., Ste. 101, Denver, CO 80204
I completed an ACH form for automatic monthly land lease payments, but it’s the first of the month and I haven’t seen the charge on my account yet. Do I need to reach out to ECLT? Automatic withdrawals are processed the first Thursday of the month, and typically take a few days to hit your account after that. Don’t worry if you don’t see them taken from your account exactly on the first. If we have any issues processing your ACH payment, we will contact you.
- Who do I contact at the CLT if I want to make a Qualified Capital Improvement to my home, refinance, add a roommate or otherwise need to contact the CLT? Contact us at email@example.com or call us at 720-822-0052 and leave a message with your name, number and home address. Thank you!
|Individuals and households interested in applying for the ECLT Homebuyer program must attend an ECLT Homebuyer Orientation before they may submit an application to our program. We require participants to attend all 90 minutes of the orientation session in order to receive a certificate of completion. You must still complete all sections in order to receive a certificate of completion.|
|If you cannot attend a scheduled session, we have an online at-your own pace alternative. ONLINE ORIENTATION FIRST-TIME ONLINE ORIENTATION RETURNING LOGIN|
|To see upcoming 90 minute orientations offered on Zoom, see the calendar below. To sign up for a session, click on "Join meeting" below the time of the respective session.|
Technology Assistance: If you need help with technology skills please click here. Down Payment Assistance: For information on down payment assistance programs, please click here. Homeowner Resources: For a list of organizations that help with various homeowner needs, from critical home repairs to financial counseling, please click here. Financial Assistance and Coaching: The City and County of Denver, Office of Financial Empowerment offers several programs including financial coaching. Click here for more information. For Boulder County, please click here for more information. Additionally, all HUD certified counseling agencies can also assist with credit repair. Click here to find your nearest HUD certified agency. Stay in Place Program (SIPP): For existing homeowners experiencing financial strain, SIPP offers a choice to work with Elevation Community Land Trust to leverage existing equity in their home and stay in place in their home and community. Learn more at www.mywdrc.org/sipp
Elevation Community Land Trust shall not discriminate against any person or organization based on age, race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, marital status, gender, veteran status, military status, political service, affiliation, or disability. As an equal opportunity housing provider, Elevation Community Land Trust provides housing opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, familial status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local law.Apply Now