September 14, 2023

The New River Valley witnessed a historic moment on August 26, 2023, when the first home in the New River Home Trust found its new owners in Blacksburg. This sale marked a significant milestone in this initiative focused on affordable homeownership.

“I have been working with the Patiño family since the beginning of 2021,” said Joe Davidson, the Blacksburg-based realtor who played a crucial role in this historic sale. “They didn’t know if they could ever afford a home in the area where they wanted to live and needed to live to continue to operate their campus ministry, so when I learned about this opportunity with CHP, I immediately thought of them and got super excited.”

The New River Home Trust offers a distinctive solution to the affordable housing crisis. Unlike the traditional approach where land and dwelling are intertwined within a single deed, the New River Home Trust divides ownership into two distinct deeds: one for the land and another for the home. By doing so, the cost of the land is effectively removed from the purchase price, making homeownership more accessible. (Read more about the debut of the New River Home Trust.)

Homeowners with closing team“In January, when we were told by CHP that this was the house, our dream house, we were absolutely thrilled,” shared Daniel Patiño, who along with his family, became the proud owners of the first home sold through the New River Home Trust. Their journey to affordable homeownership reflects the aspirations and challenges of many in the community.

Before learning about the New River Home Trust, Patiño and his family had nearly given up on their dream of owning a home in Blacksburg. “We had come to the conclusion that there may not actually be a way for us to purchase a home affordably in Blacksburg, and we were on the cusp of closing out that dream and looking at other locations,” he said, reflecting the hopelessness that many have experienced in the face of soaring real estate prices.

The birth of the New River Home Trust can be traced back to a forward-thinking decision made in 2022 when the Town of Blacksburg and Montgomery County approved the land trust model. They appointed CHP Homeownership to oversee its implementation, and this program officially launched in 2023. Initially, the trust included five properties in Blacksburg, with plans underway to expand its reach.

This landmark moment in the New River Valley’s history symbolizes the power of community collaboration and the promise of a brighter, more equitable future. Davidson added, “It’s not going to solve the problem for everybody, but hopefully it inspires people to be a part of providing more solutions.”