Forest Row is a neighborhood of 18 households on a twenty-one acre site located two miles from the village center of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The homes are clustered on five acres in two quadruplex, three duplex, and four single-family buildings. The rest of the site is predominantly wooded. Construction of the buildings began in 1986 after the Community Land Trust received a Planned Unit Residential Development (PURD) permit from the Town of Great Barrington.
Homeowners lease the land on a 99- year basis (as of 2015 on a 98 year basis). The Forest Row Land Use Plan broadly determines how the land may be used within ecological guidelines. The Forest Row Association is organized by the residents and manages the neighborhood. The Forest Row lease requires that Forest Row is the primary residence of the leaseholder.
The original financing to build Forest Row came in loans from committed members of the Community Land Trust and from a local bank. No government subsidy programs were used to develop the neighborhood. In addition, in order to help first time home buyers purchase homes at Forest Row, a group of Berkshire second home owners created a pool of low-cost second mortgage funds to help with down payments. This pool, managed by the Community Land Trust, was known as The Fund for Affordable Housing. The Fund employed the skills of its members to build one of the single family homes at Forest Row and offer it to a local family at below replacement costs.
Forest Row is an example of how first-time homebuyers, local residents,
and the professional community working together can create permanently
affordable homeownership opportunities without relying on government