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What's the latest on addressing workforce housing issuesThis web page contains our latest news. During the first weeks of March 2005, we ran Public Service Announcements [PSAs] at three radio stations represented by Keys Radio Group. We are planning another social event soon. The Marathon Weekly recently published an interesting article about us. Click here to see the article. The Keynoter received a letter to the editor about the Land Trust. Click here to see the letter. For more news about us from The Keynoter please click here. For news of the Land Trust Afterhours function, click here. Here are photos of pre-existing units. The new homes added to the Overseas Village community are now occupied by four qualified families. Recently, the Land Trust conducted an open house for our rental complex called Seacrest Apartments. Click here for an article provided to the Marathon Free Press by L. E. Shaffer with some photos. Stay tuned for more great news as events unfold.


  • The MKCLT has partnered with the City of Marathon and Monroe County to construct residences for sale to those who meet the affordable housing income guidelines and the Land Trust’s qualification criterion; which includes 1 year minimum residency (with some exceptions) and employment in Monroe County. 

  • Through a partnership with the City of Marathon and Monroe County, on 73rd Street, 4 – 3 bedroom and 2 bath 1200 square foot individual single family homes; on a 75 x 100 foot lots. They are now occupied by four families. 

  •  The Overseas Village has formed a tight-knit community of 13 families.  Currently, on site are 9 homes.  1 – 3 bedroom / 2 bath = $162,000 7 – 2 bedroom / 2 bath = $140,000 1 - 1 bedroom /1 bath = $120,000. The Department of Community Affairs, recognizing the potential of this project, provided additional allocations. In early 2005, the Trust built 4 more 2 and 3 bedroom town-homes. Families have already moved in these brand new homes.

  • The Land Trust manages an affordable rental complex called Seacrest Apartments on 91st Street in Marathon.

  • Our newest success is in Islamorada in a 16 townhouse community called Woods Corner.

  • Up next are 5 lots in Marathon.


  • Proactive acquisition of parcels to construct rental units.

  • Proactively acquire existing affordable housing units to preserve their use and affordability for the workforce of Monroe County.

  • Monitoring/administration of the affordable housing program for the cities of Marathon and Islamorada

Affordable housing commences at 73rd St.
By Steve Conklin, article and graphics provided by The Marathon Weekly

Provided by The Marathon WeeklyThe reality of affordable housing will come true in Marathon in the next couple weeks. The first residents of the 73rd St. affordable housing project, implemented by the Middle Keys Community Land Trust (MKCLT), will be moving into their new home soon.

MKCLT is a community-based private, non-profit organization that has begun the process to provide affordable housing ownership and rental opportunities for the workforce in Monroe County. The trust will construct the homes, but will retain ownership of the land.

This is the pilot project for MKCLT and president of the Land Trust, Debbie Love is very pleased with its progress. “This [endeavor] is what affordable housing can look like. This gives stability for homeowners for the future,” she said. “From start to finish, [this project] has been very challenging and rewarding.”

Provided by MKCLTThe first to move into these homes are Cal and Heather Sutphin. This couple was the first application chosen by MKCLT. The Sutphins recently had a baby, Albert Christopher, so they are looking forward to moving into a new, affordable home. “We probably wouldn’t be able to live in Marathon in the next couple years if it wasn’t for the Land Trust,” Cal Sutphin said. “This is a great program for this community.”

These three-bedroom, two-bathroom units are 1,200 square feet on a 75 x 100 foot lot. The homes were manufactured by All American Homes of North Carolina, and Anchorage Homes’ Joe Liptak is the contractor for the project. Liptak originally provided the homes at reasonable prices so that they could be used as affordable housing under the Land Trust.Provided by The Marathon Weekly

Many local volunteers have made this venture possible, such as Gonzalez Landscaping. Gonzalez Landscaping donated labor for installation of the plants that came from Miami and provided the material at low-cost. “I can’t say enough for all the help we have received from all of the volunteers,” Love said. “Gonzalez Landscaping went out of their way to help us for this project.” Love adds, “We have received a great response from the community on how these homes look in the neighborhood and they suggest to us to do more of these projects.”

There is a possibility of a new affordable housing project for the MKCLT on 64th St. “We will do what it takes to preserve affordable housing for the future,” Love said.

For more information, be sure to visit the Land Trust’s website at Former City Council candidate and Land Trust member Larry Shaffer has volunteered many hours to develop and coordinate the website.

Letter to The Keynoter Editor
By residents, letter provided by The Keynoter

Land Trust helps with ownership


We, the new owners of the homes built by the Middle Keys Community Land Trust, on 73rd Street would like to recognize and publicly thank a few special people for helping us obtain affordable housing and remain residents in this wonderful community in which we all make our living.

A local contractor who deserves mention is the Gonzales family of Gonzales Landscaping Co. Their crew did a beautiful job of landscaping the properties totally in native Keys flora. Our landscape settings will require little attention and will help us conserve water, as all Keys residents are encouraged to do.

Our thanks also go to Joy Wilson at Orion Bank and Josh Mothner at Marine Bank of the Florida Keys for their help in obtaining our mortgages. We are also very grateful to the board of the Land Trust and especially to Stevanna Pratt, who facilitates everything on behalf of the trust.

We encourage all local residents to learn more about the Land Trust and what it is accomplishing to assist locals in obtaining affordable home ownership in a highly inflated housing market. Our thanks to everyone who has worked to help the Land Trust address one of the greatest crises in the Keys, the lack of affordable housing.

Larry, Jill, Alex and Jason Bell; Cal, Heather and Christopher Sutphin; Dewey and Suze Acker; Joe Brake and Sherry Player.

Chamber of Commerce Afterhours
by Stevanna P.

Chamber of Commerce Afterhours was held July 6, 2004 to introduce MKCLT to the Chamber members and the community. Special thanks to Marine Bank Grillmasters for providing food and Exit Realty for providing drinks. Debbie Love spoke briefly concerning the mission of MKCLT. The new homeowners were introduced and spoke about what MKCLT Homeownership meant to them.

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Overseas Village Additions
by Stevanna P. & Larry S.

We wanted to begin the process of informing everyone about the new additions built at the Overseas Village. Stevanna took some photos existing units for our website. The first set of pictures are of the duplex and Charnie Lane before and during the renovation. The second set are of the finished product. Stevanna will also be taking pictures of the construction. Photos of our newly built homes will be coming soon.

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Seacrest Apartments
Provided to the Marathon/Big Pine Free Press
by L. E. Shaffer, Freelance Reporter

The Middle Keys Community Land Trust had their open house on April 7th at 6 PM.

The Seacrest Apartments are a fourteen-unit complex, serving very low and low income workforce. The apartments are located at 204 91st Street in Marathon.

The Land Trust Board of Directors invited members of the community, Marathon City Council, and Monroe County Commissioners to join with them in celebration. The acquisition of the property was due, in great part, to the efforts of the Monroe County Land Authority and the City of Marathon.

Everyone at the open house helped dedicate the property as workforce affordable housing in perpetuity. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was handled expertly by Debbie Love, the Land Trust President, Jeff Pinkus, former
Marathon mayor, and David Rice, county commissioner and chairperson of the Land Authority.

Land Trust Administrator, Rick Casey, arranged refreshments with the help of First Bank, along with residents of the apartment complex. Tours of the property were conducted.

The Middle Keys Community Land Trust can be reached by telephone at (305) 743-5624. Their email address is The Land Trust website is at

Photos provided by L. E. Shaffer.

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