Community Land Trusts (CLTs) as a strategy to promote affordable housing in California
Lucero Garcia Mondragon and THRIVE Santa Ana CLT Board Member
Keywords: Community Land Trusts, community-control, stewardship, equitable-development
In an effort to combat systemic racism in land use planning and inequitable real estate investment activities that have oppressed the working class, low-income communities are finding creative ways to build community wealth. As exorbitant rents push families out of their homes and neighborhoods, grassroots groups and communities of color are pursuing Community Land Trusts (CLTs) to promote community stewardship of the land and to create access to permanently affordable housing. While a majority of CLTs focus on fostering permanently affordable housing, there is great flexibility in the kinds of land uses that CLTs can pursue, including for instance, agricultural projects. In California, grassroots organizations such as THRIVE Santa Ana and the Oakland Community Land Trust (OakCLT) are putting the CLT model into practice to respond to their communities’ needs and pave the way for disinvested communities to secure housing access.