Americorps VISTA Spotlight: Elizabeth Kondzella – The Lighthouse

VHA is pleased to introduce another member of our 2023-2024 VISTA cohort, Elizabeth Kondzella, who is working with The Lighthouse in Lynchburg, Virginia, as its Communications Strategist VISTA. One of the main goals Elizabeth has for this upcoming year is to make as many connections — with VHA, with her host site, and with Lynchburg residents — as possible. She is spending her time learning everything she can about community/nonprofit organizing and housing in Virginia. As a transplant from Fredericksburg, she is looking forward to becoming a part of the Lynchburg community.

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, where she majored in Anthropology and Historic Preservation, studying culture and object -based history. Before Fredericksburg, she lived in Chesapeake, Virginia with her family. What originally drew her to VHA’s Americorps program was the ability it provided to both learn more about affordable housing, something she is very passionate about, while also helping to make a difference in the community.

In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys sewing — her latest project includes a bright pink Barbie movie-viewing outfit. Her next project on tap is to make a quilt using college t-shirts. She has undertaken various crafting hobbies (knitting, crochet, embroidery), and describes herself as a sort of jack of all (crafting) trades, master of none, but that’s the way she likes it! When she can find pockets of spare time, Elizabeth he also enjoys reading. Her favorite books are “This is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (fiction), and “The Anthropocene Reviewed” by John Green (nonfiction). She will take any excuse to talk about either of these books!

Current Project

Elizabeth has been spending most of her time at the Lighthouse preparing for the opening of applications and for homeowners in the Beloved Community Land Trust. The recnt project she has recently focused on is a presentation to welcome new homeowners into the Community Land Trust (CLT). Since owning a community land trust home has some differences compared to traditional homeownership, Elizabeth is preparing this presentation to ensure that all new homeowners understand what their rights and responsibilities are as a CLT homeowner. Some of this presentation will be a review, for instance, how to sell a community land trust home, which the ground lease stipulates that all homeowners will have read and signed prior to purchase. The presentation will also include non-ground lease information for homeowners: how and to whom they pay ground lease fees, how interested homeowners can join the CLT board, information that is relevant to owning any kind of home (i.e. paying property taxes), and a brief overview of foreclosure.

Community land trusts lend themselves well to first-time homebuyers and the Lighthouse wants to ensure that each member of the community is entirely prepared for successful homeownership. A regularly scheduled homeowner presentation will give community members an opportunity to ask any lingering questions and acquire a strong base of knowledge. To connect with Elizabeth regarding her work, please contact Elizabeth at:

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