Grantee Spotlight: The Center for Heirs' Property

Elena Conley
 
"The Center for Heirs’ Property is at the forefront of property preservation and family business development 
that helps low-income families build wealth and assets over time by using the value of their land.”

 

The Center for Heirs’ Property is a multi-county organization in Charleston, South Carolina with a mission to protect heirs’ property and promote its sustainable use to provide increased economic benefit to low-wealth communities. Growing out of the Coastal Community Foundation, the Center for Heirs' Property emerged in 2005 to meet an overwhelming need for free educational and legal services to help low-wealth heirs’ property owners preserve their family land by obtaining a clear title. 

 

 

 

The Center for Heirs’ Property is a national leader and model for heirs’ property work. However, because of their emerging status they sometimes struggle with a lack of philanthropic investment. At the Babcock Foundation, we see their work as an integral piece of helping to move people and places out of poverty in rural Southern communities.  MRBF Network Officer Lavastian Glenn sees this work as vitally important for regional and national foundations to support to help low-wealth individuals build assets and create generational wealth. Glenn notes, “The Center for Heirs’ Property is at the forefront of property preservation and family business development that helps low-income families build wealth and assets over time by using the value of their land.”

The Center for Heirs’ Property has achieved significant outcomes related to preserving family land for low-wealth individuals.

Since 2005, The Center for Heirs Property has:

  • Successfully resolved 144 title issues on heirs’ property land amounting to the assessed value of $7.9 million
  • Assured the assets of 402 individuals were protected
  • Provided technical assistance to county and local government planning committees working on heirs’ property issues
  • Helped more than 300 African-American families owning 15,977 acres of collective land gain access to educational and technical assistance

Organizations like The Center for Heirs' Property that help people retain and build on the value of land are providing successful strategies for wealth creation in rural communities and offer opportunities ripe for philanthropic investment.

To learn more about The Center for Heirs' Property, visit their website.

You can see MRBF’s other grantee partners working to help move people and places out of poverty in the South here.

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