The Value of Common Land Ownership

“Common land ownership” is a general term for property that is owned by a collective of individuals with a shared purpose and interest. With common land ownership, the interests of the community guide decision-making, including when (if ever) to sell a property, what to develop on the property, and how to maintain the property. Common land ownership stuctures typically enable communities to amass and hold larger amount of property than any one individual.

The Community Land Trust (CLT)

A Community Land Trust is a non-profit that develops and stewards land, spaces and other community assets on behalf of the community. It is established with a cohesive vision and a specific set of bylaws that guide the CLT. A CLT is rarely if ever sold and therefore ensures that the underlying land remains within the community’s control. CLTs need not be one contiguous property; they may be composed of many distributed lots.


How CLTs Work 

Community Land Trusts work to create location security and long-term wealth creation by providing communities the stability of land ownership. This is not about individual land or home ownership. By placing land into the trust of an organization with shared values, the community can provide for its members by developing the CLT in whatever fashion serves the community as a whole. That can be affordable housing, supporting local commercial business, building schools, etc. To learn more about how your community can form a CLT, please contact a trusted partner near you.


Successful Community Land Trusts

CLTs have been effective way to create vibrant communities, affordable housing, and long-term location security for decades. Here are a few successful CLTs from around the country.

City First Homes - Washington, DC

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative - Roxbury, MA

First Homes - Rochester, MN

Oakland Community Land Trust - Oakland, CA

Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corp - Austin, TX

HELP ORG Inc. (WALT) - Atlanta, GA

South Florida Community Land Trust - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Cooper Square MHA - New York, NY

Champlain Housing Trust - St. Albans, VT

T.R.U.S.T South LA - Los Angeles, CA

Proud Ground - Portland, OR

Sawmill Community Land Trust - Albuquerque, NM