Housing & Community Development

Harnessing our common need for land, shelter, and community 
through sustainable stewardship.

Liz Curry launched CommonLand Solutions, LLC to meet the needs of organizations, nonprofits, municipalities, and cooperatives for comprehensive housing and community development services. Curry’s work is grounded in the principles of the commons – the belief that community stewardship is our responsibility to sustain the physical, cultural, and natural resources we create and consume, for future generations.

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About CommonLand Solutions

CommonLand offers three decades of experience, technical skills, pragmatic solutions, and systems thinking to tackle housing and community development challenges so that clients can strengthen their organizational impact, portfolios, and meet their community development goals.

I grew up in big cities with the benefits of close-knit neighborhoods. Pittsburgh’s steel industry, ethnic neighborhoods, Earth Day, and the civil rights movement shaped my values of economic, racial, environmental, and social justice and equity. Living in Washington DC as a teen, I witnessed homelessness grow to scale as a symptom of how our real estate system segregates winners and losers by race, income, and ability. I focused my academic studies on how to correct land-use policies and practices to create safe, secure, healthy, and equitable communities.

 

Community development became my professional home because of its orientation toward community-based wisdom and solutions. The community development toolbox offers versatility to design and create the social, economic, and physical infrastructure that promotes healthy and inclusive communities, particularly when grounded in environmental and racial justice. Creating new or breathing life into old spaces, structures, and neighborhoods for people to participate fully in society creates positive ripple effects for all of us.

 

Through a progressive land-use policy lens, CommonLand brings pragmatic project development experience to assist clients with research, planning, and implementation. CommonLand also forms collaborations with a wider network of consultants to deliver technical assistance to organizations and communities, aimed at sustaining a healthy rural society. CommonLand Solutions brings to every client and project:

·    an energetic and nimble partner to connect with the people and harness the funding resources that result in multiple benefits for neighborhoods and communities.

·    a broad network of colleagues in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors that can assist with any community development challenge if there is a clear vision and purpose.

·    expertise in project planning, coordination of partners and professional services, financial packaging, grants, and property development/redevelopment for affordable housing, infrastructure, and community facilities.

·    a trustworthy and reliable thinking partner.

 

Services include market research, project planning, convening partners, grant writing and financial packaging, leveraging non-traditional resources, and managing the development and compliance processes to make housing, infrastructure, and community facility projects happen. 

Expertise in planning and implementing projects and services which further the community stewardship of affordable housing, land, historic buildings, and infrastructure.

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Have a new project in mind? From advising on planning, funding plans, and feasibility, through project development, CommonLand Solutions can assist your community with converting ideas into tangible and successful results. CommonLand Solutions delivers directly and through partnerships the following services:

  • Project planning and coordination of feasibility assessments, funding plans, financial packaging, and procuring design and construction professionals to bring projects to fruition;

  • Grant writing, administration, and compliance;

  • Restructuring portfolio assets including building commissioning and technical assistance to reduce energy-related costs through strategic partnerships;

  • Procuring owners representatives, construction teams, and construction administration through strategic partnerships;

  • Building client's relationships with municipal, state, and other public officials; 

  • Market research and analysis.

Strategic Consulting Partnerships

Collaborations with other consultants allow CommonLand to provide the robust capabilities that community development projects often require. Through strategic partnerships with Peterson Consulting, Amy Wright Consulting, and Cx Associates, Inc. CommonLand can offer a broader network and more depth of expertise and services in:​

  • Building energy commissioning and energy engineering.

  • Capital planning

  • Owner's representation /construction project management services.

  • Leveraging additional services such as cost estimating, and historic preservation scopes. 

 CommonLand Solutions is an approved consultant for the VT Housing & Conservation Board's Rural Economic Development Initiative.

 CommonLand Solutions and Cx Associates are an approved team as Enterprise Green Communities Technical Assistance Providers for 2021.

Consulting Services and Partners: 

A Comprehensive Approach

CommonLand Solutions Clients
2020 - 2022

Spectrum, Rutland, CRCLT, and ECCT were collaborations with Brian Pine, of Pine Consulting, LLC

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Town of Westford, VT

Secured $466,194 in grant funding from Northern Borders Regional Commission-EDA for Community Wastewater Infrastructure

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Spectrum Youth & Family Services

Secured Project-Based Section 8 Vouchers for eight rooms in Homeless Youth Housing

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Rutland Housing Authority

Secured $2.7M  in Covid-Relief Grant funding and  $80k roof-top solar grant, combined with

pre-development services for Homeless-Health Care Bridge Housing Program

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East Calais Community Trust

Community development consulting and financial packaging services for $2.4M redevelopment of the Village's historic general store, involving federal historic preservation, economic development, and affordable housing 

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City Roots Community Land Trust

Business plan development,  sustainable financial modeling, and housing co-op technical assistance for  Rochester, NY community land trust 

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Early Care Learning Partnership

VT Community Development Program planning grant application for rural community child care assessment and adaptive reuse of elementary school

Organizational Description
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Cooperative Development Institute

Project management, grant administration, and financial sustainability analyses for infrastructure redevelopment in two manufactured home park cooperatives  

Lamoille
Community House

Comprehensive project development consulting services for LCH's offices, programmatic space, and emergency housing for individuals who need temporary housing.

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Town of Ludlow, VT
Municipal Skatepark

Secured a $190,000 Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative grant to redevelop the municipal skatepark to state-of-the-art regional facility.

Project management,

funding plan, and grant writing/administration services to redevelop secondary building on the Tribal Headquarters property for cultural, educational, and social service programs

Assisted with VT Department of Forest, Parks, & Rec 

Recreational Trails Program

grant application

"Liz led an interfaith coalition in the Town of Shelburne through the process of developing the town's first permanently affordable multifamily community, combined with the redevelopment and preservation of a historic mixed-use town-owned building. This project stands out to me because of the way in which Liz handled the community relationships, building strong engagement, support, and good-will with both the interfaith members and Town officials...In addition to her extensive and very pertinent experience and successes, I would add that I have rarely worked with someone of her keen intellect and the courage to take on any challenge. Liz is a pleasure to work with and would be an asset to any community development project requiring advanced skills and a commitment to social justice."

Brenda Torpy, founder and CEO Emeritus of Champlain Housing Trust

Contact Me

Burlington, VT 05401

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