The Southeastern Connecticut Fund for Land Equity supports and promotes a sustainable, just, regional economy in Southeastern Connecticut. As a revolving community loan fund we help our neighbors invest in financially sustainable non-profit and for-profit organizations that meet the needs of our community, create new opportunities, and restore the land to health.
Priority for funds is given to projects involving the permanent protection of land under the stewardship of the Southeastern Connecticut Community Land Trust (the SE CT CLT) and may be utilized in the following ways:
- To acquire and/or rehabilitate houses for affordable homeownership under a ground lease.
- To acquire and/or rehabilitate residential and commercial property for affordable rental.
- To acquire and/or rehabilitate commercial property for community uses.
- For historic preservation and/or rehabilitation of nonprofit-owned property.
- For new construction of any of the above.
- To acquire and preserve open space.
Loans are also available to third-party projects involving affordable housing, community use, open space, or food production.
The Southeastern Connecticut Fund for Land Equity was established in 2010 as the Francis Fund, a partnership between Equity Trust and Saint Francis House in New London, CT to provide a vehicle for local investment by concerned individuals, faith communities, and other organizations. Saint Francis House, which has been leading community conversations on public education and other vital issues and supporting peace and justice initiatives including community gardening and alternatives to homelessness for many years, served as the local contact for borrowers and lenders of the fund and as an advisor to Equity Trust’s loan committee while Equity Trust handled administrative and management responsibilities.
In 2021 the fund got a new name and the SE CT CLT, one of many grassroots organizations founded and/or nurtured by Saint Francis House, took on the mantle of local contact and advisor to Equity Trust. The mission of the fund remains the same:
- To support collaborative efforts to assist people in building economic resources and services in their local communities.
- To support the creation of equity by groups historically excluded from economic development opportunities.
- To promote environmental preservation.
- To support a sustainable, regional food supply through local farming.
- To develop small-scale, local enterprises.
For inquiries about funding or to learn how to get involved, please contact us at: info (at) sectclt.org or etf (at) equitytrust.org.