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Community Land Trusts: Affordable Access to Land and Housing

The Community Land Trust (CLT) is an increasingly important strategy for addressing affordability of land and housing for low- to moderate-income residents of communities throughout the United States. CLTs are generally non-governmental, nonprofit organizations which acquire land and hold it in trust for the benefit of the local community. They provide opportunities for residents below a certain income threshold to lease the land and buy or rent affordable housing, create community gardens, and/or practice sustainable agriculture and forestry.

In the past 40 years, the nationwide network of CLTs has grown to over 200 organizations. The CLT model holds great promise for meeting affordable housing and land needs in communities around the world. This report explores the CLT concept and history, explains how it works, and offers a series of successful CLT case studies in urban and rural areas.