CLT_Community land Trust

Download the PNLT HANDOUT

A Community Land Trust is a member based non-profit organization that obtains and manages land for community benefit. CLTs promote community ownership and democratic control of land. CLTs are best known for acquiring land for a community for the long-term preservation of affordable housing, local business incubation, community gardens and other community economic development initiatives. A CLT can be established in any neighbourhood anywhere, urban or rural with any type of housing or land use. Both new development and rehabilitation of existing buildings are common, primarily developed with non profit partners or by the CLT itself. By removing the rising land value from the price of property and retaining it in trust, the CLT can offer access to land at affordable and secure rates.

A CLT is different from a housing cooperative in that it is not limited to a single project and membership is open to all residents of neighbourhood, not just those living or working on the land and buildings. Like other non-profits it is governed by a board of directors, but the typical make-up of a CLT board utilizes a unique1/3 Tripartite structure with one-third leaseholders, one third community members, and one third organizational representatives. This offers a balance of power and ensures maximum community participation in decision-making.

A CLT functions as a social change mechanism. It can provide opportunities for building stronger and more supportive community. Through its unique land stewardship model, the CLT promotes community control over how land is used to meet local needs now and in the future. It too provides a community vehicle for land-use planning and management.

The CLT model is increasing attention as an equitable development tool for:

  • Creating and preserving affordable and supportive housing 
  • Creating and preserving affordable commercial spaces 
  • Securing long-term land security for urban agriculture, community space and green spaces
  • Building community planning capacity and leadership to shape neighbourhood development


Canadian CLT’s

Canadian Network of Community Land Trusts 


British Columbia


New Brunswick

Nova Scotia



Inspiring American CLTs