How a Land Trust Property Went Viral

Defy Media created a Prank It Fwd video that has received over 5 million YouTube views. What those viewers didn't know was that the house given away in the video is part of a land trust from Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland.

1 minute read

December 9, 2014, 6:00 AM PST

By Lisa Monetti


For a regional nonprofit that measures social media impact in the thousands (of connections) and hundreds (of clicks), it was quite a mashup when Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (NHSGC) connected with Defy Media, producers of the Prank It FWD video series, in their quest to surprise a single mom by giving her the house she was hired to clean (see the video here).

While we at NHSGC may not know how to create a video that 5 million people watch; we do understand what it takes for homeowners to be successful, and we know how to structure a community land trust property to assure that it remains an individual and community asset over the long haul.

The house you see in the video is now part of the Land Trust Program of NHSGC of Greater Cleveland. Ocwen Financial Corporation helped secure the home in suburban Cleveland Heights where Cara Simmons lives and her children are in school. Defy Media renovated it and...

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