What is a Communty Land Trust?



A Community Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization whose mission is to safeguard land to provide affordable access to housing and preserve land resources in a community. CLTs buy and hold the land permanently. The land is then leased at a nominal rate to community members for various uses. The CLT model emerged over 30 years ago as an innovative way to address the rising costs of housing, lack of space for new development, abandoned buildings, and aging housing stock in the Eastern U.S. and has expanded throughout the United States.

Community Land Trusts contribute to neighborhood stability by renovating and rehabilitating unused and blighted housing stock and vacant lots, by maintaining those properties in perpetuity, by decision making at a local level, and by the long-term commitment to affordability, thereby helping to create a vibrant, diverse, and affordable neighborhood that is controlled by its residents.

The CLT model is extraordinarily flexible and hinges on separation of land from the improvements or buildings on that land. The structures on the land can be sold or leased as needed. Types of uses for CLT properties include:

  •  Single and Double Family Homes
  •  Rental Units
  •  Condominiums
  •  Cooperative Housing
  •  Community Open Space including Playgrounds, Parks, and Sports Fields
  •  Community-based Urban Agriculture, including Gardens, Farms, and Orchards