Community land trusts (CLTs) are growing in the United States. They are non-profit community-based organizations that own land and lease it for permanently affordable housing. CLTs have diverse historical roots including the peace and civil rights movements and community struggles against displacement by urban redevelopment. Although land trusts have been used by elites, CLTs are potentially an alternative to the displacement and inequalities of private housing and land markets. The CLT is one among many tools for achieving the right to housing and the right to the city. However, much more is needed to secure community control of land, keep land out of the market, and make housing permanently affordable. To sustain the transformational potential of CLTs, their ties to the social movements that gave rise to them need to be strong.
land; housing; trusts; community; displacement