Document Type

Professional Plan Capstone

Original Publication Date



Maggie Walker Community Land Trust


Richmond, VA

Date of Submission

May 2021


During the summer of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant economic crisis and unprecedented levels of housing and financial instability, the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) launched a pilot lease-to-own program in Richmond’s gentrifying Church Hill neighborhood. The official goal of the program is to expand access to affordable homeownership for Black households in MWCLT’s homes across Richmond, Henrico County, and Chesterfield County by addressing barriers to mortgage lending that they disproportionately face due to past and on-going systemic racism. With three households currently participating in the pilot program and a fourth household slated to enter sometime this year, it is time to step back and ask, How can we determine whether the program is achieving its racial equity goal?

This professional plan provides an evaluation framework and companion template for the participatory design and implementation of a racial equity-focused evaluation of the lease-to-own pilot program. Using a stakeholder-engaged and participant-centered approach, I developed the framework with individuals directly involved in—and thus most knowledgeable about—the program. As such, this plan builds the capacity of MWCLT program staff, participants, and partners to both define and examine the intended processes and outcomes of the lease-to-own program, to identify and modify any program elements in need of improvement, and to make decisions about the program’s future. Finally, this plan more broadly serves as an organizational blueprint for developing and implementing future evaluation processes and, in turn, institutionalizing the practice of critically reflecting upon and accounting for MWCLT’s commitment to housing justice for Black households.


© The Author

Is Part Of

Master of Urban and Regional Planning Capstone Projects