Models and Best Practices: Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Chicago Community Land Trust

The Chicago Community Land Trust (CCLT) was founded in 2006 to address the increasingly limited supply of funding for affordable housing. The goal is to preserve the long-term affordability of homes created through city programs for low- and moderate-income families. Through the CCLT, subsidies used to make homes affordable are preserved and leveraged over time to create a permanent pool of affordable homeownership opportunities. The program is primarily targeted to families earning less than 100 percent of the area median income. Read more about Chicago Community Land Trust...

City First Enterprises

Founded in 1993, City First is launching a community land trust initiative that aims to create one of the largest community land trusts in the country. With $10 million in support from the District government, which will leverage $65 million in socially responsible investment funds supported by New Markets Tax Credits, the group plans to develop 1,000 units of community land trust housing. Ultimately, City First aims to develop a total of 10,000 permanently affordable housing units. Read more about City First Enterprises...

Cuyahoga Land Bank

The Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation (CCLRC) is the first of its kind in the state of Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation in April 2009 that allowed the formation of county land reutilization corporations—nonprofit entities that develop, manage, and rehabilitate abandoned or foreclosed properties. In an effort to mitigate the effects of the ongoing foreclosure crisis, CCLRC ensures that vacant properties are properly maintained and sold to qualifying inhabitants or developers. Read more about Cuyahoga Land Bank...

Evergreen Land Trust

Founded in 1974, the Evergreen Land Trust Association is the oldest community land trust in the Pacific Northwest. The organization began as a grassroots effort to promote affordable housing, cooperatives, recycling, and other progressive initiatives related to land reform. ELT holds both urban and rural properties in the Puget Sound region, including cooperative houses and farms. The ELT Board of Directors is made up of two representatives from each ELT property and Board members representing the community at-large. Read more about Evergreen Land Trust...

First Homes

Founded in 1999, First Homes provides an innovative example where a large community anchor institution, Mayo Clinic, used a community land trust model to meet the employer's workforce housing objectives. Since 1999, $14 million has been raised and 650 new residences have been built. The total includes more than 420 new single-family homes (including nearly 50 community land trust properties) and more than 225 new below-market-rate rental units. Read more about First Homes...

Genesee County Land Bank Authority

The Genesee County Land Bank has become a national leader in using land banking to guide community development. By avoiding the potential neglect or misuse that comes from selling land at auction, the County is able to acquire abandoned land through the foreclosure process and determine the best use of that land. The Land Bank assembles land for transfer to adjacent homeowners, develops long and short-term green spaces, and assembles land for new housing and commercial development. Read more about Genesee County Land Bank Authority...

Kulshan Community Land Trust

Instead of developing its own affordable housing, Kulshan Community Land Trust founded in 1999 purchases property, in collaboration with the family, that meets specific requirements and is located within Whatcom County, Washington. This process allows the house to be taken off the speculative market and added to the many properties already within the land trust. To date, KCLT has provided affordable housing to more than 60 families. Read more about Kulshan Community Land Trust...

Oakland Community Land Trust

Established through the joint efforts of Urban Strategies Council and community partners, the Oakland Community Land Trust (CLT) was the product of two years of planning and building community support in response to the mounting foreclosure crisis. Granted an award of more than $5 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding from the city, the Oakland CLT acquired its first of 130 properties in 2010, officially launching the NSP Homeownership Project. Read more about Oakland Community Land Trust...

Sawmill Community Land Trust

The Sawmill Community Land Trust formed in 1996 to purchase and remediate 27 acres on the site of a former particleboard factory in an effort to preserve affordability for working families near downtown Albuquerque. Sawmill now manages 34 acres of reclaimed industrial land where it has constructed 93 affordable single-family ownership homes and three affordable rental apartment complexes complete with community gardens, playgrounds and a plaza. Additional affordable rental housing is planned, as are community-driven economic development projects and a few other projects on other sites. By separating the ownership of the buildings from the ownership of the land, the land trust makes it possible for homeowners and other residents to benefit from secure housing without the risk of rising costs of escalating land value. 

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Chicago Community Land Trust

The Chicago Community Land Trust (CCLT) was founded in 2006 to address the increasingly limited supply of funding for affordable housing. The goal is to preserve the long-term affordability of homes created through city programs for low- and moderate-income families. Through the CCLT, subsidies used to make homes affordable are preserved and leveraged over time to create a permanent pool of affordable homeownership opportunities. The program is primarily targeted to families earning less than 100 percent of the area median income. Read more about Chicago Community Land Trust...

City First Enterprises

Founded in 1993, City First is launching a community land trust initiative that aims to create one of the largest community land trusts in the country. With $10 million in support from the District government, which will leverage $65 million in socially responsible investment funds supported by New Markets Tax Credits, the group plans to develop 1,000 units of community land trust housing. Ultimately, City First aims to develop a total of 10,000 permanently affordable housing units. Read more about City First Enterprises...

Cuyahoga Land Bank

The Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation (CCLRC) is the first of its kind in the state of Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation in April 2009 that allowed the formation of county land reutilization corporations—nonprofit entities that develop, manage, and rehabilitate abandoned or foreclosed properties. In an effort to mitigate the effects of the ongoing foreclosure crisis, CCLRC ensures that vacant properties are properly maintained and sold to qualifying inhabitants or developers. Read more about Cuyahoga Land Bank...

Evergreen Land Trust

Founded in 1974, the Evergreen Land Trust Association is the oldest community land trust in the Pacific Northwest. The organization began as a grassroots effort to promote affordable housing, cooperatives, recycling, and other progressive initiatives related to land reform. ELT holds both urban and rural properties in the Puget Sound region, including cooperative houses and farms. The ELT Board of Directors is made up of two representatives from each ELT property and Board members representing the community at-large. Read more about Evergreen Land Trust...

First Homes

Founded in 1999, First Homes provides an innovative example where a large community anchor institution, Mayo Clinic, used a community land trust model to meet the employer's workforce housing objectives. Since 1999, $14 million has been raised and 650 new residences have been built. The total includes more than 420 new single-family homes (including nearly 50 community land trust properties) and more than 225 new below-market-rate rental units. Read more about First Homes...

Genesee County Land Bank Authority

The Genesee County Land Bank has become a national leader in using land banking to guide community development. By avoiding the potential neglect or misuse that comes from selling land at auction, the County is able to acquire abandoned land through the foreclosure process and determine the best use of that land. The Land Bank assembles land for transfer to adjacent homeowners, develops long and short-term green spaces, and assembles land for new housing and commercial development. Read more about Genesee County Land Bank Authority...

Kulshan Community Land Trust

Instead of developing its own affordable housing, Kulshan Community Land Trust founded in 1999 purchases property, in collaboration with the family, that meets specific requirements and is located within Whatcom County, Washington. This process allows the house to be taken off the speculative market and added to the many properties already within the land trust. To date, KCLT has provided affordable housing to more than 60 families. Read more about Kulshan Community Land Trust...

Oakland Community Land Trust

Established through the joint efforts of Urban Strategies Council and community partners, the Oakland Community Land Trust (CLT) was the product of two years of planning and building community support in response to the mounting foreclosure crisis. Granted an award of more than $5 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding from the city, the Oakland CLT acquired its first of 130 properties in 2010, officially launching the NSP Homeownership Project. Read more about Oakland Community Land Trust...

Sawmill Community Land Trust

The Sawmill Community Land Trust formed in 1996 to purchase and remediate 27 acres on the site of a former particleboard factory in an effort to preserve affordability for working families near downtown Albuquerque. Sawmill now manages 34 acres of reclaimed industrial land where it has constructed 93 affordable single-family ownership homes and three affordable rental apartment complexes complete with community gardens, playgrounds and a plaza. Additional affordable rental housing is planned, as are community-driven economic development projects and a few other projects on other sites. By separating the ownership of the buildings from the ownership of the land, the land trust makes it possible for homeowners and other residents to benefit from secure housing without the risk of rising costs of escalating land value.