Community Land Trusts And Racial Equity

Click here to read the Partnership’s Factsheet: Community Land Trusts and Racial Equity.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) originated during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Formerly enslaved Black American families faced significant barriers to affordable housing and homeownership opportunities

  1. In 1969, community activists organized against Jim Crow Laws and voter suppression, and they established New Communities Inc., a Community Land Trust (CLT) model.
  2. New Communities acquired nearly 6,000 acres of farmland and forest near Albany, Georgia., to support black farmers in gaining collective access to farmland and housing.

This initiative marked the birth of CLTs in America. There are now more than 314 CLTs holding over 40,000 housing units across the country. Racial equity and inclusion are at the core of CLTs, demonstrated in part by their unique governance structure. The board of directors consists of equal parts homeowners, other members of the community, and nonprofit shareholders.

By empowering local communities, CLTs have the potential to rectify past policy decisions that prevented low-income and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) from accessing quality affordable housing.

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