Julie Brunner is the housing director at OPAL, a community land trust on Orcas Island in Washington state. Julie has worked in the field of affordable housing since the mid-90s and today OPAL is responsible for housing 200 families on an island with a population of just 5,000. Over the years, both through hot and cold real estate markets, they've found innovative ways to finance and offer housing, both through home ownership and renting.
Julie and show host Neal discuss the mechanics of community land trusts, the huge benefits to those housed through the program, and the important differences between offering properties to own and to rent. A former economics major, Julie explains how America's housing crisis is not simply a supply issue and she details how OPAL has managed to offer financial security to people on an island with some of Washington's highest property values and lowest wages. To learn more about her work, check out the OPAL website as well as the Grounded Solutions Network, where she teaches courses on community land trusts.